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G a ( 



L. E. HORNING, B.A., Ph.D. 





VOL. 1. 1880-1898. 7s. 6d. net 

" This is a brilliant little book, which 
by sheer force of cleverness goes far to 
accomplish what is well-nigh impossible. 
There is not a dull page in it. The author 
lives over again this thirty years in a spirit 
of vivacity, and with freshness of touch 
and comment which carries the reader 
along ; and there are pages which belong 
to literature." Times. 

1 ' We have laid stress so far on one parti- 
cular part of Mr Gretton's work because 
it is something quite new in the writing of 
contemporary history. The political part 
of his history displays no less ability, and 
a brilliance which only the work of Mr 
Herbert Paul can parallel. Mr Gretton's 
comments are as apt and vigorous as often 
they are brilliant." Manchester Guardian. 
" In dealing with high politics he is as 
brilliant as Mr Herbert Paul at his best ; 
and yet he has insight enough to diagnose 
the social significance of ' Ta-ra-ra-boom- 
de-ay.'" Glasgow Herald. 

"It might be thought that the late Mr 
Justin M'Carthy's 'History of Our Own 
Times' would have left no room for a 
book such as this. But no one will con- 
tinue to hold this opinion after reading Mr 
Gretton's brilliant and engrossing pages. 
The development of England's prosperity 
since the early eighties has been treated 
with an engrossing minuteness which is 
only paralleled in the novels of Mr Arnold 
Bennett. " Scotsman. 

"It is supremely the kind of book I 
wish every reader of this column would 
somehow beg or buy: so tonic it is, so 
extraordinarily sensible, so bracing in its 
immediate effects. For average men like 
ourselves to read this book is like gaining 
a new memory. Clear as crystal the years 
open back ; night melts, and the landscape 
spreads glittering ; it is the most stirring 
extension of consciousness." Liverpool 




VOLUME II 1899-1910 



57 365" 
I - 




I. ENGLAND IN 1899 . . . . 9 



IV. 1899 : THE WAR AND THE NATION . . 64 

V. THE WAR AND THE NATION (continued) . 76 

VI. 1900 : THE CRY FOR EFFICIENCY . . 105 

vn. 1901 : THINGS NEW AND OLD . . . 123 

VIII. 1902 : CORONATION YEAR .... 149 

ix. 1903 : MR CHAMBERLAIN'S HIGH BID . .179 

X. 1904 : THE TURN OF THE TIDE . . . 206 




DRUCE CASE ...... 278 



xv. 1909-1910 : THE PEOPLE'S BUDGET . . 817 

INDEX 389 



ENGLAND in 1899 hardly represented the ideal 
spectacle of a people on the eve of a relentless 
trial of its spirit. The national temper at the 
moment was a curious mixture of hilarity and moodiness, 
of assurance and anxious calculations, of energy and 
hesitation. So indeterminate were feeling and purpose 
that a generally warlike disposition was presently to 
greet the actual outbreak of war as a thunderbolt. Politics 
were at an unhealthy pause, social life in an equally un- 
healthy fever. In commerce an unparalleled volume of 
business was being regarded almost askance ; prosperity 
was felt to be founded upon ill-considered and inadequate 
business methods. In this matter, as in others, the country 
was in an introspective frame of mind. Many elements in 
its activities were seen to be false. Such perception, how- 
ever, formed no real preparedness for the ordeal of the 
melting pot. The quality of the national metal was not 
doubted : only its shape and the keenness of its edge were 
in question. 

The futility of current political exchanges was obvious 
in each of the three political parties. The Conservative 
Government could not feel much interest in proposing 
home legislation while South African affairs were assuming 
daily a more menacing aspect. The Conservative majority 
was so large that marking time involved no danger in the 
division lobbies. Moreover, the Government had little 
to fear from an Opposition more than half paralysed by 
internal divisions. These had now become acute. In 


10 ENGLAND IN 1899 

December 1898 Sir William Harcourt had declined to lead 
any longer ; and in the ensuing correspondence between 
him and Mr John Morley (which formed the vehicle for 
conveying Sir William Harcourt's decision to the public) 
there had been exasperated revelations of the conflict of 
opinion, the sectional disagreements rife among Liberals. 
The deepest cause of division was one which in the next 
two or three years was to operate more and more violently 
the division to be represented under the labels Liberal 

ft. Imperialist and Little Englander. Ever since the Jame- 
son Raid there had been within the Liberals a group which 
regarded with the utmost suspicion the Conservative 
policy of expansion, believing it to involve an immoral 
concentration of purpose on aggrandisement. The Soudan 

J^ campaign and the annexation of the Soudan, so deeply 
altering our position in Egypt, provided food for this 
belief ; the victory at Omdurman appeared to these men 
unnecessarily murderous, and the destruction of the 
Mahdi's tomb and the exhumation of his body (deliber- 
ately undertaken to prevent a revival of fanaticism) they 
criticised as barbarous acts. This group, composed of 
active and energetic men, watching with gravest misgivings 
the trend of affairs in South Africa, was able to make its 
current of opinion a marked one in the party. On the 
other hand, nrnny Liberals thought such views were too 
straitened, and that moreover they were coloured by an 
/Junpraiseworthy dislike and distrust of Mr Chamberlain's 
personality. The rescue of the Soudan from the Khalifa 

/) was, they said, after all, an advance of civilisation in a 
dark spot of the earth ; and, as for South Africa, it was 
strange for Liberalism to be in the position of defending 

*^\ a state of affairs in which hah* a population was being 
taxed without representation. (For, of course, the Little 
Englander's criticisms of Mr Chamberlain's methods in 
regard to the Transvaal were readily made to appear as 
a defence of President Kruger's.) Lord Rosebery was 

ENGLAND IN 1899 11 

generally looked on as leader of the Liberal Imperialists, 
but here again a side current was working. A good many 
Liberals who had little sympathy with anti-Imperialism 
considered that Lord Rosebery showed a propensity 
towards sentimental jingoism, and was too ready to treat 
the acquisition of any swamp in South Africa as of 
greater importance than conditions in England. There 
was prevalent also a feeling that the Liberal party had 
let slip its opportunity of guiding democratic impulse. 
Mr Gladstone, we have seen, had frankly held his leader- 
ship from 1886 to 1894 for one purpose only Home 
Rule ; he had been followed by Lord Rosebery, who 
had shown little sympathy for democratic movements ; 
and Lord Rosebery had been succeeded by Sir William 
Harcourt, who was in every sense a Whig. That the 
urgent need, as well as the propelling force, of Social 
Reform seemed to have passed the party by was the 
feeling of a letter published in 1899 by a group of young 
Oxford Liberals unknown at the tune but to be known 
honourably enough before long. In this year they added 
to the resources of Liberalism a weekly organ The 

In view of the dissensions among Liberals, it was small 
wonder that Professor Goldwin Smith, writing one of his 
letters of a looker-on from Canada, should say that what 
was wanted in 1899 was rather a party than a leader. 
But it was with the choice of a leader the disagreements 
at the moment were most concerned. The difficulties of 
this choice were so ludicrously public that The Daily Mail 
rushed in with the proposal of a plebiscite as to the future 
policy of the party and who should be its leader. It was 
all very well to say, as some Liberals did, 1 that the divi- 
sions and manoeuvres were confined to the House of 
Commons, and counted for little in the country at large. 

1 See, for instance, an article by Dr Guinness Rogers in The 
Nineteenth Century, January 1 899. 

12 ENGLAND IN 1899 

Even if that were true for the moment, it necessarily 
ceased to be true before very long, since Members of Parlia- 
ment inevitably put their own points of view before their 
constituents, and the latter, in approving or disapproving 
them, began to share in the same divergences. 

The third party in the House of Commons the Irish 
Party was at this time ineffective too. In the autumn 
of 1898 there had been an attempt, headed by Mr John 
Dillon, to close the breach caused seven years earlier by 
the disastrous accompaniments of the fall of Parnell : 
the attempt was renewed early in 1899. But it had 
failed ; the party remained in two unequal sections, and, 
as a whole, was morose and powerless. Lord Rosebery's 
coolness towards Home Rule l seemed to have its sequel 
this year in a statement from Sir Henry Fowler that the 
Liberal alliance with the Irish was at an end. 2 It was true 
the formula employed said that the Irish party felt itself 
stronger in independence of English parties ; but here was 
another source of cleavage for Liberal opinion. There 
were many Liberals who could not but bitterly resent 
the suggestion that certain of their colleagues looked on 
Home Rule as a policy to be taken up or set down at 

When we turn from this confusion in politics to the 
world of commerce we come on a state of things that 
might have apparently given unmitigated cause for satis- 
faction. At the opening of 1899 the prospects in all 
trades were good. Shipbuilding had risen to a record 
output in 1898, and it showed no tendency to slacken. 
The White Star ship Oceanic was launched in 1899 and, 
with her length of 705 feet and tonnage of 17,040, she 
opened a new era of colossal merchant vessels. So great 
was activity in the spinning trade that the only apprehen- 
sion felt was lest too many mills were being erected. The 

1 Vol i., page 349. 

1 The Timts , 3rd February 1899. 

ENGLAND IN 1899 18 

iron and steel works were busy, almost to their limits of 
capacity. The chemical trade, though its equipment was 
stated to be rather behindhand as compared with that of 
the German chemists, was making the most of its facilities. 
Even farming had a share in the general prosperity. 
Since the depression in 1879 and 1880 a new generation 
of farmers had been growing up, men more ready than 
their fathers to experiment, to take advantage of new 
machinery, to relinquish the unprofitable grain crops to 
which the earlier generation had clung as to its honour. 
Lowered rents, better means of communication, had 
achieved something ; and, though improvement in method, 
co-operation, the use of light railways, consideration of 
market requirements, advanced so slowly that at times 
there seemed no advance at all, the fact remained that 
there was unusual hopefulness even among agriculturists. 
Nor was this hopefulness of prospect belied : when it 
came to be looked back upon, 1899 could be chronicled as 
an annus mirabilis in trade the best year for a quarter 
of a century. None the less a certain uneasiness among 
business men was making itself felt at this time in funda- 
mental criticisms. Whence, it was asked, was the money 
being drawn that was pouring into the expansion of 
factories and engineering shops ? Part of it could, no 
doubt, be traced to the growth of the new banking system 
the amalgamation of small banks into huge concerns. 1 
For one effect of this process had been the establishment 
of an immense number of branch banks in places too small 
for the old private banks to have been able to support 
branches in them, and these drew in numerous small sums 
which in old days would have remained outside the banking 
system, and so could not have been utilised as they were 
being utilised now. But though much loan capital might 
be traced in this way, a feeling was prevalent that English 
trade was depending too largely on foreign financing and on 
1 Vol. i., page 264. 

14 ENGLAND IN 1899 

borrowing from America. Of the great firms of financiers 
Rothschilds, Raphaels, Morgans, Speyers, Seligmanns, 
Hambro none were English ; and though this of course 
did not imply that all the money they handled was foreign 
money, it did suggest that English industry must be un- 
certain where its foundations were laid. 1 Another cause 
for uneasiness was found in the fact that in our foreign 
trade the excess of imports over exports was heavy, and 
the discrepancy was taken by some persons to mean that 
the national prosperity was unreal as long as hostile tariffs 
prevented our exchanging an exactly equal quantity of 
exports for the imports we consumed. Mr Chamberlain 
was tentatively approaching this position in January 1899, 
though, as The Times noted, he " judiciously abstained 
from offering many figures to a popular audience." 2 Sir 
Robert Giff en, upon the other hand, was pointing out that 
our position as the Free Trade nation constituted us " the 
bankers of the world," and that our " invisible exports " 
under that head were a genuine item of prosperity. Yet a 
third, and a grave, source of uneasiness was found in the 
nature of the company promoting which in a period of such 
excellent trade was naturally enough active. The crashing 
downfall of the cycle boom still reverberated in the City. 
The Company Laws, so often called in question of late, 
were again being criticised. It was, for instance, felt to be 
a mistake that, while all private traders in bankruptcy 
had to undergo public examination, the director of a 
company could, according to the Act of 1890, only be 
compelled to submit to such examination if the Official 
Receiver saw reason to suspect actual fraud. Twice at 
least in the course of the year the business community 
had striking support given to its uneasiness. In February 
the chairman of the Millwall Docks absconded, and he 

1 See an article, - Trade in 1898,"- in The Nineteenth Century, 
May 1899. 
* 1 9th January 1899. 

ENGLAND IN 1899 15 

was f ound to have been falsifying the company's books 
in order to keep up the dividends out of capital. He was 
arrested later and sent to prison. Then in November 
when, according to custom, the new Lord Mayor of 
London presented himself at the Law Courts, to receive 
from the Lord Chief Justice the Crown's acquiescence in 
his election, the City had to listen to a direct reproof. 
The incoming Lord Mayor, Mr Newton, had been a 
director of a concern, named the Industrial Contract Cor- 
poration, which had just been wound up and, though Mr 
Newton was himself exonerated from the blame which 
was being attached to the undertakings of the company, 
the opportunity was taken by the Lord Chief Justice to 
substitute for the usual formalities a rather sharp speech 
about the too easy-going acceptance of company director- 
ships. The feeling remained widespread that, in spite of 
many recent revelations of the evil wrought by " guinea- 
pig " directors, money worship being much in the ascend- 
ant, important persons continued, in consideration of 
directors' fees, to lend their names far too readily. Sharp 
as the Lord Chief Justice's words were, and unusual as it 
was to travel outside formalities on such an occasion, 
public opinion fully approved of his action. 

Finally these various misgivings were focussed and 
brought to a head in an alarm as to a general " lack of 
efficiency " in trade theories and practice. It became 
known in May that a large contract for a railway bridge 
across the Atbara River, carrying the Nile railway up to 
Omdurman, had been given to an American firm. The 
outcry was immediate ; England had paid for the recon- 
quest of the Soudan ; was she not to expect that openings 
for commercial enterprise there should put money into 
her pocket ? This claim was replied to in that business- 
like spirit England had so much admired in Lord Kit- 
chener's Egyptian campaign : American firms had guar- 
anteed the work's completion in a shorter time and with 

16 ENGLAND IN 1899 

more certainty than English firms, and promptness was 
here a quality not to be dispensed with. National heart- 
searchings followed this plain speaking. Manufacturers, 
however, refused to accept the chief blame, even if it 
were to be proved that English methods and training were 
falling behindhand. Trade Unionism in England, they 
pleaded, formed an element of possible delay, with which 
other countries had not to contend in similar measure ; 
while strikes were frequent, delivery at a given date could 
not be absolutely guaranteed. 

Just at this time, as it happened, there were no serious 
strikes. The only one of any magnitude in 1899 was a 
strike of operative plasterers; they demanded that all 
foremen should be members of the union. In some 
directions, indeed, the tide of labour agitation which had 
risen high in the -ate eighties and early nineties seemed to 
be receding. Many small unions were losing ground ; 
even the Dockers' Union was regaided as not very robust ; 
the Agricultural Labourers' Union, on which in an earlier 
day much energy had been expended, had weakened as 
much as 90 per cent, in membership since 1892. Great 
unions, such as those of the miners, the engineers, the 
cotton and woollen operatives, were flourishing ; but the 
net conclusion of the Board of Trade Report on Trade 
Unionism this year was that only 21 per cent, of working 
men were members of unions, and of working women only 
12 per cent Possibly a sense of the weakness of small 
unions, and their consequent danger to the movement, 
may have dictated a scheme propounded by the Trade 
Union Congress in January for a national federation of 
unions. The federated bodies were to subscribe to the 
federation one or two shillings per member per year, and 
to be entitled in return to an allowance of half-a-crown or 
five shillings per member per week during a strike or a 
lock-out The " General Strike " began to loom in the 
minds of nervous persons who read of this scheme. But 

ENGLAND IN 1899 17 

such an idea had not much actuality, the likelihood of 
complete federation even was open to a good deal of 
doubt. When the South Wales miners, for instance, were 
ready to come into the Miners' Federation the officials of 
the latter body thought they detected a mercenary spirit 
in the South Wales men, a desire mainly to dip into the 
funds of the larger organisation. It seemed possible at 
least that similar suspicions in other large unions might 
handicap federation. Yet if a general strike were 
hardly a serious danger, uneasiness in regard to sectional 
strikes remained active. The question as to some form 
of statutory obligation was continually in the air, and the 
provisions for compulsory labour arbitration in New 
Zealand were much discussed too much, in the opinion 
of people who considered that Colonial experiments could 
have little meaning for England. 1 Many persons, too, 
held that compulsory arbitration was an idle phrase, for 
trade unions were not entities as employers were ; they 
could not be compelled. " Organisation of capital," it 
was said, " is the industrial remedy for strikes, and 
incorporation of the unions the legislative one." 2 

These misgivings as to methods and organisation, so 
soon to be felt in other departments of national life, were 
for the moment confined almost entirely to persons of 
commercial importance. As yet the man in the street felt 
nothing but a sense of prosperity ; the nation at large was 
inclined to swagger ; widespread interest taken in the 
lamentable condition of the Liberal party was chiefly due 
to a conviction that by its distrust of the growing spirit of 
Imperialism it had merited disaster. Mr Chamberlain was 
asserting that 1898 had marked the end of the epoch of the 
Manchester School : " We are all Imperialists now. We 
realise, but do not flinch from, the responsibilities and the 

1 See, for instance, a letter by the Bishop of Hereford in The 
Times, 4th January 1 899. 
1 The Times, loth January 1899. 

18 ENGLAND IN 1899 

obligations which Imperialism brings." * A change too 
was taking place in England's relation to other European 
powers, though it was attributed rather to an awakening 
of national spirit than to any specific event. 2 The new 
temper was such that Lord Salisbury's handling of the 
Fashoda incident 3 was felt to have strengthened his hold 
on popularity to a degree which minimised any chances 
Liberals might have had of returning to power. The great 
trade prosperity was everywhere affecting the public mind. 
The standard of wealth of acquisition and of expenditure 
had leaped up. Not everyone could be a millionaire 
created by Kimberley or the Rand ; but almost anyone 
might at the moment become abnormally rich, provided 
he were astute enough at company promotion. The 
Colossus was the popular idol, whether he took the shape 
of Mr Rhodes, with his hold on De Beers, of Mr J. B. 
Robinson with his deep leads paying him 100 per cent., of 
Mr Carnegie with his entrenched giant of steel production 
at Pittsburg, of Mr Rockefeller with his thumb on every 
little oil shop, or of Mr Pierpont Morgan with his Brobding- 
nagian pocket always in the place to catch a toppling 
American railroad. For the new standard of possessions 
the old standard of expenditure did not suffice. Already 
in London " smart " entertaining was having recourse to 
hotels. A dinner-party in a glittering restaurant, filled with 
people, and backed by a kitchen and cellars of which the 
range was naturally wider, while the quality was not poorer, 
than that of great houses, was more amusing than the 
best that could be done privately. Also the newly rich, 
of whom there were many, felt themselves safer in the 
hands of a maitre cThotel.* The season in London was being 

1 Speech at Birmingham, 28th January 1899. 
8 The Times, leading article, 4th February 1899. 

3 Vol. i., page 442. 

4 The Times, in an interesting comment on this change (2th 
September 1 899) remarked that, as the club had originally grown 
out of the tavern, so now the great hotel seemed becoming a new 
kind of club. 

ENGLAND IN 1899 19 

broken up by the " week-end " habit. Families no longer 
moved their complete establishments to town ; they kept 
two or three houses open. The expense of great week-end 
parties was made nothing of. Autumn shooting-parties 
had the expectation of being provided with day after day 
of driven pheasants and bags running into four figures. 
Whist was giving place to bridge ; and the much greater 
gambling possibilities in bridge violently accelerated 
changing manners and customs. 1 

It was, perhaps, in its effects upon women that the 
changed spirit in society became most rapidly marked. 
In the recklessly lavish periods of earlier times, such as 
the later eighteenth century, men had on the whole had 
the monopoly of extravagance. Theirs were the clubs and 
the gaming-tables ; theirs, quite as much as their women's, 
was costliness in apparel and jewellery. Now greater 
wealth sufficed for equal extravagance in women and men. 
In one sense, women's clubs were not a novelty. The 
Alexandra had been founded in 1884. It had been 
followed in 1887 by the Ladies' University Club, in 1892 
by the Pioneers' Club (though these two, with the Sesame, 
opened in 1895, embraced rather women in professional 
life than in society), in 1894 by the Green Park Club, in 
1896 by the Grosvenor, and by the Empress in 1897. 
By 1898 the ladies' clubs in London had reached the number 
of twenty-eight. 2 Bridge owed its absorbing popularity 
largely to the extent to which women devoted themselves 
to it ; stories began to be told of play which recalled the 
wildest days at Crockford's, when men sat at card-tables 
for twenty-four hours at a stretch. In another point also 
eighteenth-century custom was returning ; powder and 

1 This change was particularly noted at the time, because of the 
death, on i7th February, of Henry Jones, the famous "Cavendish " 
of whist manuals. 

See an article by Mrs Anstruther in The Nineteenth Century, 
April 1899, 

20 ENGLAND IN 1899 

paint were no longer only being employed to hide the marks 
of age ; they were being used again by young women. The 
" advanced woman," too, who had been making her way 
for years past, mustered in force in London this summer 
for an International Congress of Women. At this many 
discussions took place, on political subjects, such as woman 
suffrage, and women's work in local government ; on 
technical training for women ; the ethics of expenditure ; 
equal wages for women doing the same work as men ; an 
equal moral standard for the sexes ; women's clubs, women 
in science (Mrs Ayrton had just been reading a paper on the 
Electric Arc before the Institute of Electrical Engineers) ; 
and on a number of questions of domestic economy. But 
the congress was not a marked success. It was felt to 
have produced a welter of papers and discussions without 
much relation to one another or to central principles. 1 A 
more ephemeral phase of advanced views challenged public 
opinion this year hi the Harberton case. Lady Harberton, 
who had been a consistent champion of " rational dress " 
for women, brought an action against the landlady at the 
Hautboy Inn, at Ockham, for having refused her admission 
to the inn coffee-room. The object was to raise the 
question whether a knickerbocker costume could rightly 
be considered as unsuitable for women. The law, however, 
ingeniously avoided giving a judgment on this matter. 
The only ground, it said, for action would have been refusal 
of reasonable accommodation and refreshment. The land- 
lady of the Hautboy had not been guilty of such a refusal, 
and her right to serve the refreshment in a comfortable 
room other than the coffee-room was upheld. The case 
never commanded more than a passing interest. 

The exaggerated standard of expenditure among the well- 
born and the rich had its full middle-class counterpart hi 
the determination to " have a good time." All kinds of 

1 See an article by Miss Frances Low in The Nineteenth Century, 
August 1899. 

ENGLAND IN 1899 21 

sports seemed to be taking new and lively turns. Horse- 
racing was stirred by the arrival of Tod Sloan and the 
" American seat," with the saddle placed far forward, 
stirrups shortened to give a crouching attitude on the 
withers, and the reins gripped on either side of the horse's 
neck. Like most American inventions it was thoroughly 
suited to its purpose : the jockey's weight was thrown 
where it was most easily carried and the retardation caused 
by air pressure on the jockey's body was reduced to a 
minimum ; Sloan almost lay on the horse's neck. There 
was scoffing at first ; Englishmen are not prone to think 
they can learn about sport from other nations. But the 
reasonableness of the new seat, combined with Sloan's 
constant successes, soon caused his attitude to be copied, 
and within a year or two the older manner had disappeared 
from racecourses. The authorities had other reasons too 
for welcoming Sloan. He rode hard all the way ; so his 
success was likely to break down the growing tendency 
towards finesse in racing, nursing horses " messing them 
about " was the uncompromising phrase used by a steward 
of the Jockey Club in order to bring them up with a run 
at the finish. 1 Cycling as a sport had been unaffected by 
the downfall of the cycle company boom. It was still very 
popular, and the names of crack racing cyclists were almost 
as well known as the names of jockeys. A new invention 
had been made the free-wheel and people were as 
wishful to ride the latest types of bicycle as they became a 
few years later to possess the most up-to-date motor car ; 
a machine two or three years old was a thing no self- 
respecting cyclist cared to ride. Fresh ideas too were 
inspiring cricket. An unusually fine and dry summer had 
favoured batsmen, and huge scores had been made. They 
resulted in a discussion of the almost too great perfection 
of the modern cricket pitch ; either, it was contended, 

1 See a letter by Lord Durham on American jockeys in The 
Times, 24th October 1900. 

22 ENGLAND IN 1899 

bats should be smaller or wickets should be broader. Other 
cricketers debated the rules for " following on." Golf was 
by this time so widespread that the perpetual opening of 
new links almost ceased to be noticed it was now hardly 
possible for a watering-place to survive without a golf- 
course. Boat-racing was enlivened by the breaking down 
at last of the long series of Oxford successes. In 1899 a 
Cambridge crew, stroked by Mr Gibbon, and including Mr 
Dudley Ward and Mr R. B. Etherington Smith, turned the 
luck, and won a most popular victory. In athletic contests 
the interest of the year was a meeting between a combined 
team from Harvard and Yale and a similarly constituted 
team from Oxford and Cambridge. An entirely new 
sport was making its appearance in England Ju-jitsu, a 
Japanese form of wrestling, in which scientific knowledge 
of bones and muscles was used to devise " holds " and 
" locks " of a kind that converted an attacker's energy 
to his own destruction. In football professional contests 
were taking on almost the nature of gladiatorial displays. 
The methods of the northern manufacturing towns, where 
football teams were maintained by a limited liability com- 
pany which made dividends out of the " gates " at matches 
were being imitated in the south. London suburbs and 
southern provincial towns possessed their professional 
teams, and rivalry was fierce enough at times to make 
the referee's post a dangerous one. Late in the year a new 
spirit invaded even yacht-racing a sport in which the 
populace hitherto had had no portion. A challenge for 
the America Cup was made by Sir Thomas Lipton. This 
became instantly a popular affair ; the ordinary man was 
prepared by Lipton's shops and Lipton's advertisements 
to accept him as the purveyor of yacht-racing. The de- 
signers set to work at contriving a " skimming-dish " 
vessel which should allow of sufficient temporary 
strengthening to be enabled to cross the Atlantic. It was 
believed that the necessity imposed on the challenger for 

ENGLAND IN 1899 23 

the cup of sailing across to the contest accounted for 
previous British defeats ; a racing yacht built on the 
spot could be made so much more lightly, and so much 
further from the " cruiser " form. The building of Sir 
Thomas Lipton's Shamrock was followed with keen public 
interest ; and when at last she had crossed to America, 
and the races began, newspaper enterprise bolstered the 
excitement. Differences in time caused the races to be 
sailed when it was evening this side the Atlantic. The 
ingenuity of The Daily Mail arranged that the respective 
positions of the yachts during the race should be signified 
by red and blue lamps hoisted against a tower on the south 
side of the Thames. Other newspaper proprietors followed 
with modifications of the idea ; and so while the races were 
taking place the Thames Embankment was blocked every 
evening with crowds seeing the newest galanty show. The 
Shamrock fared better than some earlier challengers had 
done ; but the light airs of the American seaboard in 
autumn the first race was not finished within the time 
limit baffled her, and ultimately she was beaten. But 
this was not till late in October, and by that time sterner 
events had distracted the popular mind. 

The affair at the time appeared to many persons, not 
hopelessly old-fashioned, as chiefly a proof of the menace 
of advertisement methods. They were shocked to see 
even The Times being invaded by stridency ; its pushing 
of the Encyclopaedia Britannica was one of the jokes of the 
year. Illuminated sky-signs blinking from street corners 
and shop fronts were denounced as dangerous to horses 
as well as offensive to humanity. Yet all such enterprise 
was part of a general liveliness which, though it might 
show want of ballast, was hardly likely to be checked by 
staid protestations. The Belle of New York, Florodora, 
and San Toy were the successes of the theatres ; they were 
cheerful, irresponsible musical comedies lavishly staged 
The Gay Lord Quex, The Ambassador and The Canary^ all 

24 ENGLAND IN 1899 

of them light comedies, were the dramatic events of the 
year. The catchword of the streets, " Let 'em all come," 
expressed the vague swagger which everywhere was the 
mode. The public was agape for sensation ; readily 
gullible, but quick to forgive in a burst of laughter when 
an imposture it had found entertaining was exposed. A 
man named De Rougemont had come to London with 
astonishing tales of adventure in the north of Australia. 
He had lectured to huge audiences, and then on the first 
touch of investigation his whole tale collapsed like a bubble. 
The public laughed, enjoying the idea of the impudence of 
the fraud as much as it had enjoyed the wonders of the 
lecturer. It enjoyed enormously too the situation created 
on the death of Earl Poulett, when a man who for years had 
been grinding a barrel organ in London put in his claim 
as heir to the Poulett estates and the gates of the 
family mansion in Somersetshire were barricaded against 

In another section of the public the general extravagance 
and irresponsibility were producing a reactionary pose. 
" Back to the land " was hardly yet a catchword ; but 
individuals were retiring to the country and writing to the 
Press of the joys of small holdings. Cycling had led to a 
rediscovery of the country, and persons who prided them- 
selves on their sensibility were talking of the Simple Life. 
Similarly, the more frivolous the normal stage became, the 
more strenuous became the devotees of ethical drama. 
The Independent Theatre had come to an end ; but in the 
autumn of 1899 some of its disciples, combining with new 
forces, founded the Stage Society. Its object was to 
produce English plays which the commercial stage would 
not take up, and also translations of leading foreign plays. 
It opened its career with Mr Bernard Shaw's You Never 
Can Tell and followed that with plays by Mr Sidney 
Olivier, Ibsen, Fiona Macleod, Maeterlinck, and Haupt- 
mann. The society had its performances on Sundays in 

ENGLAND IN 1899 25 

order to secure the services of actors and actresses engaged 
every other night of the week. The pleasure of finding an 
occupation for Sunday evenings in London brought many 
members to the society. 

In literature new names were coming to the front. Mr 
W. B. Yeats and Mr Stephen Phillips (whose Paolo and 
Francesca was published late in the year) gave new hopes 
for poetry ; Mr Maurice Hewlett and Miss Fowler were 
the new-comers to the novel reader. An extraordinary 
revelation of the position Mr Rudyard Kipling had made 
for himself occurred when news was published at the end 
of February that he was gravely ill of pneumonia in New 
York. For a week bulletins about him were the most 
important items in the newspapers ; and when, on the 
announcement that he was out of danger, the German 
Emperor sent Mrs Kipling a telegram of congratulation 
and appreciation of her husband's work, there was no in- 
congruity in the action ; for the English and American 
nations had been awaiting the moment of relief. Mr 
Kipling's only publication this year, beyond the poem, 
The White Man's Burden, addressed to the United States 
on its responsibilities in the Philippines, and a poem later 
in connection with the menace of the Boer War, was his 
school story, Stalky and Co. It caused the first slackening 
of his popularity ; exactly the men who had most admired 
his " plain tales " of distant parts of the Empire disliked 
this plain tale of a public schoolboy's life ; it was so far 
from the convention that Waterloos are won on the 
playing fields of Eton. 

In the region of science much new life was stirring. 
Wireless telegraphy, exciting glimpses of which had been 
obtained from time to time in the past two years, came 
now to a public and practical success. In March the first 
wireless Press message was sent by Marconi instruments 
across the English Channel from Wimereux to the South 
Foreland. In July the system was utilised for the first 

26 ENGLAND IN 1899 

time at sea ; during the naval manoeuvres a cruiser 
scouting ten or twenty miles ahead of the fleet was kept 
in communication with the admiral in command. Atten- 
tion was turned to the steady and devoted experiments 
being made in flying, by the death of Mr P. S. Pilcher 
on 30th September. He and Lilienthal, who had been 
killed three years earlier, lost their lives in the very neces- 
sary work of applying theories about the behaviour of 
plane surfaces in air which were slowly altering the whole 
line of advance of aeronautical science. The belief that 
flight was impracticable without a lifting agent lighter than 
air was still strong ; but breaches were being made in it. 
Engineers had a new subject of interest in the turbine 
motor, the invention of the Hon. C. A. Parsons, which was 
a completely new application of steam propulsion. Instead 
of introducing the steam into cylinders, where it acted 
on pistons, which in their turn transmitted the energy by 
cranks to the propeller shaft, Mr Parsons set steam to act 
directly upon the shaft. He was able to transfer the 
triple-expansion principle from the reciprocating engine 
to his turbine engine. 

The most notable step in medical science was Major 
Ross's announcement in August that he had definitely 
established the fact of transmission of malaria by mosqui- 
toes in tropical Africa. The enlargement of our responsi- 
bilities in Africa, made lately more urgent by the taking 
over of Uganda and Nigeria from the chartered companies, 
had created a new necessity for the study of tropical 
disease. Major Ross's discovery, followed as it was 
by the corollary that mosquitoes could be destroyed 
by treating the water where they bred with kerosene, 
rendered malaria no longer an inevitable accompaniment 
of tropical life. At the same time in England great 
interest was being taken in the open air cure for con- 
sumption. Here again a disease had been considered 
incurable by the public at large, if not by the medical 

ENGLAND IN 1899 27 

profession, until the publication of Dr Koch's theories, 
and the heated discussion of them, made people begin to 
conceive of consumption as. like other diseases, due to 
bacteria. A great meeting was held at Marlborough 
House this year, with the Prince of Wales in the chair, 
to give new energy to research and to the discussion of 
methods of cure. The open air system at Nordrach, in 
Switzerland, was known ; but it was not until this year 
that it began to be understood that the essentials of the 
system were a strict regimen and fresh air, not any 
particular forests or mountains. 

Two important educational movements of 1898 have 
to be noted. One was the gift by Mr Passmore Edwards 
of a sum of money for building and equipping a London 
School of Economics. Here that new spirit we saw 
expressing itself first in the foundation of University 
Settlements 1 may be said to have reached its most fruitful 
form of expression. Political economy had undergone 
the discipline of a searching challenge from philanthropy ; 
it now emerged as a social science social economy and 
in its new form received again that intellectual allegiance 
which twenty years earlier it had almost lost. The 
energy at the back of the London School of Economics 
was largely an energy of social reformers ; but they could 
now reassert the intellectual method of attack upon 
social problems. The second educational movement has 
also a thread of connection with settlements. These had 
been founded partly to let the working man see the value 
of knowledge, and to enable him to distinguish between 
true and false kinds of knowledge. Now the working 
man began to have designs of his own upon university 
education. A project had been set on foot in Oxford 
by two Americans, Mr Beard and Mr Vrooman, to open 
a hall of residence there for working men. There was no 
proposal to give the men a full university course ; few 
1 Vol. i., page 112: 

28 ENGLAND IN 1899 

working men could spare the necessary four years, and if 
they occasionally did, the result was rather to cut them 
off from their fellows than to fit them for other life. 
The idea here was that men should come into residence 
for a single year or so, to attend lectures chiefly in econo- 
mics and modern history, and should then return to their 
work, not withdrawn from their class by education but 
taking a new feeling for education back into their class. 
The hope was that trade unions and their branches would 
pay the fees of some promising men, while some would 
maintain themselves by doing the household work of the 
hall. The hall, under the name of Ruskin Hall, was 
opened on 22nd February. The second movement was 
an even more important one for working-class education, 
though at the time, being less picturesque, it attracted 
less attention. A conference between representatives of 
the University Extension System and the Co-operative 
Societies was held in Oxford in August. This attempt 
to give more solidity to the work of extension lecturers, 
both by organising classes and discovering the kind of 
instruction most wanted, led a few years later to a wider 
interpretation of the place of university training than 
Ruskin Hall was able to achieve. 

Towards the end of the year learned men were called 
upon to take part in a controversy which was raging at 
dinner-tables. Was 1899, or was it not, the last year of 
the century ? Were we, or were we not, now to surrender 
that which had been our mental and moral label, our 
epithet in respect to our ideals and our prejudices the 
nineteenth century ? To half the nation it seemed 
obvious that if we had described all the years beginning 
with 18 as the nineteenth century, then when we began 
with the figures 19 we must be in the twentieth century. 
The other half of England pointed out forcibly that there 
had been no year at the beginning of our era ; we had 
begun with the year 1 ; therefore the century would not 

ENGLAND IN 1899 29 

be complete till the passing of the year 100. It 
was so considerable a controversy that no less a 
person than the Astronomer Royal took a hand in it. 
He fixed the beginning of the twentieth century at 
1st January 1901. 



MR BALFOUR, in a speech delivered just before 
the opening of the session, deplored the " un- 
healthy calm " in political life. He was ref erring 
mainly, of course, to the fact that the Opposition was 
more concerned with internal disagreements than with 
attacking the Government, but he implied a certain 
slackness on the Government side. The complaint had 
some reason. A Queen's Speech, in which the chief 
legislative proposals were a Bill for setting up local 
municipalities to replace the vestries in London, a small 
Education Bill, and a Bill to assist workmen to purchase 
their homes, was a poor effort. A forecast of a session 
too in which disorders in the Church were specified as 
" the rock ahead " was not impressive. The deplored calm, 
however, was but superficial. The session was not six 
weeks old before debate on the Civil Service Vote became 
the occasion for discussing the policy of the Colonial 
Office in respect to the Transvaal. In April advanced 
Radicals were challenging the Government to give an 
explanation of a great increase of barrack accommodation 
in South Africa. By the middle of June a Blue Book 
of despatches which had passed between Mr Chamberlain 
and Sir Alfred Milner was published, and the tone of 
them left little doubt of the direction in which events 
were moving. 

For whole-hearted Liberals to feel that they confronted 
these events with divided counsels, and a new leader, the 
choice of whom seemed merely opportunist, must have 



been very depressing. Sir William Harcourt, in address- 
ing his letter of resignation to Mr John Morley, had 
appeared to indicate his successor. But Mr Morley, 
knowing that his strong convictions against the policy 
that had been pursued in the Soudan, and was now being 
pursued in South Africa, must cut him off from many of 
the most prominent men on his side of the House, and 
might even divide them finally from the party, preferred 
to take refuge in the arduous task that had been imposed 
on him the writing of Mr Gladstone's biography. Fail- 
ing Mr Morley, it was taken for granted that the choice 
must fall on Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman. As early 
as 5th January, Sir Charles Dilke was alluding to him as 
the probable leader, expressing at the same tune his own 
distaste for the prospect by describing him as " in the 
whole trend of his mind one of the most Conservative 
members occupying a seat on the Liberal benches." l 
Mr Asquith was mentioned also ; but he was known to 
prefer for the present to devote himself to his successful 
career at the Bar. A meeting at the National Liberal 
Club exposed the differences of opinion in full blast. 
Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman was ultimately chosen 
as leader in the Commons ; but, as in the case of Sir 
William Harcourt, 2 the election was half-hearted ; the 
choice of the leader of the party as a whole being left 
until there should be a prospect of the return of the 
Liberals to power. Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman 
was regarded generally as little more than a stopgap. 
He had no great reputation outside the House ; and 
current opinion attributed his election to the fact that 
he had not been identified with either extreme among 
Liberals ; that he was neither a Little Englander nor an 
active Imperialist, and might be expected to " sit on the 
fence, fully satisfying no section of his followers, but 

1 The Times, 6th January 1899. 
1 Vol. i., page 402. 


at least vitally offending none." J In his first week of 
leadership, Sir Henry showed a vigour and acuteness that 
may well have startled the Ministerial benches. But it 
was only a brief success. It is doubtful whether even 
political genius could have won any continuous success 
in a session when the main interest of politics was one 
in which many of his prominent followers were more in 
sympathy with the Government than with their own 
leader. It was inadvisable to make even such attempts 
as the rules of the House admitted to bring to the front a 
subject which, while it was engrossing all thoughts, had 
no official existence. Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman 
had to flesh his sword in mock battles. 

The " rock ahead " which had been so curiously looming 
at the opening of the session proved not very formidable. 
But there had been a revival of ecclesiastical controversy 
and an Anti-Ritualist Campaign, which had contrived 
to attract much attention. This was a good deal due 
to the tactics pursued by a small group of persons who, 
making themselves technically parishioners of certain 
London churches where High Church practices were in 
vogue, attended the services and interrupted them by 
loud protests. Such scenes had been occurring frequently 
since the beginning of 1898. It happened also that 
ecclesiastical law, as a highly controversial subject, 
interested two voluminous writers of letters to the news- 
papers Lord Grimthorpe and Sir William Harcourt. 
Both were strong Erastians ; and they filled columns 
with disquisitions on the law, the supineness of bishops, 
the instruments of Church discipline. The ceremonial 
oblation of incense, reservation of the Sacrament, and 
the use of the confessional were the practices most bitterly 
attacked ; such services as the Veneration of the Cross 
on Good Friday being made also occasions of protest. 
The English Church Union repudiated the authorities 
1 The Times, i7th January 1899. 


to which Lord Grimthorpe and Sir William Harcourt 
appealed. The reply of extreme anti-ritualists was 
that in that case Parliament must intervene and erect 
new tribunals. This attitude wrecked the agitation in 
1899. An anti-ritualist meeting at the Albert Hall 
just before the opening of the session was followed by a 
deputation to Mr Balfour as leader of the House of 
Commons, asking for legislation from the Government. 
Mr Balfour held out no hopes of this. A private member's 
Bill was therefore introduced. But it went to such 
lengths in proposing to pass over the authority of the 
bishops, and in scheduling as ecclesiastical offences 
practices which hitherto had not been regarded as illegal, 
even by men such as Sir John Kennaway and Sir 
William Harcourt, that it lost the support of moderate 
anti-ritualists, and was thrown out decisively. The 
bishops, meanwhile, continued the use of admonition ; 
and in August the two archbishops, in a case brought 
before them, gave judgment against the ceremonial 
use of incense, and against the carrying of lights in 

This ecclesiastical controversy was believed to be 
adding fuel to the controversies on education which the 
Government's proposals aroused. The endowing of 
voluntary schools, it was said, became a different matter 
if the Church that had control of these schools might be 
accused of such lawlessness as to bring up English 
children in beliefs not essentially different from those of 
Roman Catholics. Mr Lloyd George was coming to the 
front on the Liberal benches largely by his effective 
presentation of these views. However, the Education 
Bill of this year was not highly controversial. It took 
the step, which had so long been advocated, of making 
the chief authority in education no longer a committee 
of council but a separate board. The Science and Art 
Department of South Kensington, as well as the Education 


Office, was absorbed by the new board ; and thus 
Technical and Secondary Education were united with 
Elementary Education in a single system. The Bill 
was criticised as being but a partial dealing with diffi- 
culties. The dual local authorities remained School 
Boards and Voluntary School Committees and Liberal 
opinion was in favour of placing the responsibility for 
local administration upon the county councils, working 
through committees. The idea prompting this suggestion 
was that the religious difficulty might be removed if 
elementary schools were administered by bodies in the 
main popularly elected. The Bill, however, met with 
no disaster and passed into law. Another measure that 
became law provided for the rating of the clergy of the 
Church of England on only half the Tithe Rent Charge 
of their benefices. There had been a certain unfairness 
in the rating of the clergy on account of the falling tithe 
returns due to the lowered price of corn. But this Bill, 
which authorised payment from the Local Taxation 
Account of the Exchequer of half the rates hitherto 
charged on the clergy, was another of those pieces of 
legislation by privilege to which this Ministry seemed 
prone. The London Government Bill, setting up local 
municipalities, also became law ; it might be described 
as an application to the London County Council area of 
that principle of the subdivision of local government 
which had been effected in the counties by the Parish 
Councils Act. Though there was abundance of easy 
jesting about the petty mayors and aldermen that the 
Bill would create, the ending of the old vestries had been 
bound to follow sooner or later the ending of the old 
Board of Works. A Moneylenders Bill was introduced 
by Lord James of Hereford, but was not passed. For 
some time cases in the courts had brought the money- 
lending business into notoriety ; there was strong support 
for a measure which should not only limit the interest on 


a loan that was recoverable at law, but should do some- 
thing towards preventing the network of aliases by which 
usurers, whose extortions under one name had been 
exposed, continued in activity under another. The case 
of Gordon v. Street in 1899 had raised this last point 
in a prominent manner. 

One item contained in the Queen's Speech made but a 
poor appearance in Parliament the Bill to enable local 
authorities to advance money to working men for the 
purchase of their homes. This was an old scheme of Mr 
Chamberlain's, an item in that middle-class conception 
of democratic reform l which had fallen so much out of 
date. The chief objections to the Bill were, firstly, that it 
would be impracticable to confine the loans to a particular 
class, and, secondly, that it was very doubtful wisdom 
for the working man to tie himself to a particular locality : 
anything making labour less mobile must tend to con- 
gestion in times of unemployment. It was a poor attempt 
to provide a sop for the Tory working-class voter. Mr 
Chamberlain himself was far too busy with other affairs 
to concern himself with this bantling of his, or to feel 
much solicitude about another idea of his which he would 
have been well advised to sustain. In July a majority 
of the committee presided over by Mr Henry Chaplin 2 
reported in favour of a scheme of Old Age Pensions of 
five shillings a week, payable at sixty-five years of age. 
There was some taunting of Mr Chamberlain as months 
went by and the report drew no word from him. He 
could hardly, however, have foreseen the future, or have 
given a thought to the presence on the committee of a 
young member, Mr Lloyd George. The workmen's 
houses Bill was easier to produce. The Tory party was 
feeling also that it had provided much social reform 
without a corresponding adjustment of the legal position 

1 Vol. i., page 320. 


of labour, which in the case of strikes was seeming to 
be privileged. The past twenty years had brought many 
Employers' Liability Acts ; there had been Housing Acts, 
and extensions of transit facilities financed from the 
rates. Quite lately there had been the Workmen's 
Compensation Act ; and masters of industry were 
grumbling a good deal at the addition of this to the 
Employers' Liability Acts on the Statute Book. 

London was indeed rather less well provided in regard 
to cheap locomotion than the large provincial towns, 
with their far-reaching trams. Manchester, for instance, 
had dealt with its housing problem almost entirely by 
facilitating and cheapening means of transit, and had 
done little in the way of building. This year there was 
a demand for enforcement of the powers of the Local 
Government Board to insist upon the provision of work- 
men's trains in London. Connected with this was a 
question which became of great moment. Active spirits 
in the London County Council were feeling more and 
more strongly that slum problems could only be solved, 
and the decent housing of the artisan achieved, by building 
far enough out of London for land to be bought at a 
reasonable price, and then providing cheap means of 
transit. Thereupon the question arose whether, under 
the Housing Act, the Council could buy land outside the 
area of its jurisdiction. Legal opinion held that it could 
not. Meanwhile all that it seemed possible to do within 
the area was being done, and not by the Council only. 
Before that body came into existence, private benefaction 
had erected a number of large tenement buildings ; and 
within the past year or two a successful attempt had 
been made to house decently the more drifting and 
solitary kind of poor man who could not afford the most 
meagre flat. Lord Rowton, who in earlier years had been 
Lord Beaconsfield's private secretary and henchman, set 
himself to discover whether common lodging-houses, 


run not for extortionate profit, but for a reasonable 
return, could not be contrived to provide these men with 
a comfortable shelter. In certain respects the tenement 
buildings erected by private benefactors showed what 
could be done. For example, the capital of the Guinness 
Trust had been originally 200,000, given by Lord Iveagh 
in 1889, and 25,000 added by the Goldsmiths' Company 
in 1893. In 1898 the net income, after allowing for 
depreciation and a contribution to the contingency fund, 
was 8600 ; and the capital fund had been enlarged by 
allotments out of income to 298,000. 1 Lord Rowton 
erected four lodging-houses in different parts of London, 
with beds and cubicles let at a charge no higher than that 
of the ordinary common lodging-house ; and provided 
with large rooms in which the men could cook and eat 
their meals. His experiment proved that a man could 
live wholesomely in one of these houses for as little as 
8s. 2d. a week. 2 

A subject which had begun to trouble the social 
conscience at a rather later date than that of housing 
dangerous trades and unhealthy occupations made some 
stir in 1899 on account of the reports of two Home Office 
committees, one on phosphorus poisoning in match- 
making, the other on lead poisoning in the manufacture of 
china. The first report was uncompromising in its asser- 
tion that phosphorus poisoning could be entirely pre- 
vented by insistence on precautions, such as mechanical 
dipping of matches in closed chambers. The great strides 
the social conscience had taken in the past twenty years 
may be noted in the general agreement that the enforce- 
ment of such rules was a necessity, in spite of the fact that 
it must involve the ruin of certain ill-equipped factories. 

1 See an article on " London Buildings " in The Fortnightly 
Review, 1899. 

1 See an article by a resident in Rowton House, The Nineteenth 
Century, September 1899. 


The second report was rather less conclusive. It recorded 
a considerable increase in use of leadless glaze since 1893 ; 
for much ordinary ware dangerous glazes no longer were 
thought necessary. At the same time it was the con- 
tention of the china manufacturers that positive pro- 
hibition of the use of lead would be disastrous ; imported 
china, it was said, would then compete ruinously with the 
home manufacture ; and they pleaded that increasing 
precautions were eliminating danger to the workers. 
Beyond these two dangerous trades, in which sufferings 
had been particularly horrible, other occupations, the evils 
of which were more insidious glass polishing, naphtha 
processes, quick-drying paint, etc. were being inquired 
into. Phosphorus poisoning had been brought into public 
notice chiefly by The Star newspaper in pursuance of its 
avowed policy of giving some of its space to social pam- 
phleteering. 1 It was active just now in another respect. 
Fires caused by oil lamps were frequent, and deaths due 
to them, when reckoned by a newspaper devoting itself 
to the subject, reached a serious total. It was thought 
that these accidents were due largely to the lowering of 
the safety standard for lamp-oil. The provisions, under 
which oil was not allowed to be imported and sold for 
ordinary lighting purposes, if it turned, in an open vessel, 
to explosive vapour at a temperature below 100, had 
been altered in 1879, when the danger point was fixed 
at 73 in a closed vessel. Round these two figures contro- 
versy raged, many experts holding that the new test was 
by far the sounder ; and that the cause of the increasing 
number of accidents should be looked for in the cheap glass 
lamps used by the poor. A private member's Bill pro- 
posing to restore the flash point to 100 was introduced 
this year ; but it was defeated. 

Labour, accepting these ameliorations and attempts 
at amelioration, did not acquiesce in the view that its 
1 Vol. i., page 240.- 


own attitude must be modified in response to them. In 
Parliament it had met with a serious rebuff at the general 
election of 1895 l ; it was now preparing for the next 
election, which could not be far off, since this was the 
Government's fifth year of office. Labour men had their 
explanation of the parlous condition of the Liberal party. 
It had, they believed, had its day ; it had solved the 
constitutional problems of the past generation, from which 
it had sprung, by extension of the franchise, establishment 
of the ballot, and such measures. Its " cry for a leader 
was really a cry for the departure of its soul." Reform 
now involved what the Liberal party had never been 
constituted to undertake. In face of socialism the differ- 
ences between Tories and Liberals became " purely arti- 
ficial." For in the view of the Independent Labour Party 
reform meant " such employment of the members of the 
state that each would have an opportunity of becoming 
an effective consumer " 2 ; and the immediate corollaries 
of that belief were the taxation of ground values and ground 
rents, the readjustment of mining royalties towards making 
them public property as soon as practicable, the national- 
isation of railways and canals, and, ultimately, nationalisa- 
tion of all the means of production. However, the new 
policy of permeation, rather than of frontal attack upon 
property, which socialists for the past six years had 
adopted, made these sweeping manifestoes appear rather 
academic. At the conference of socialists and the Inde- 
pendent Labour Party in April the tone was not very 
combative. The foremost subject was technical educa- 
tion ; there was also some discussion of unemployment, 
and of the idea of ateliers nationaux. Local government 
was still the main objective of socialists under the Fabian 
influence which had succeeded the Morris and Hyndman 

1 Vol. i., page 372. 

* Articles by Mr Keir Hardie and Mr Ramsay Macdonald on 
" The I.L.P. Programme,' 5 Nineteenth Century, January 1899. 


influence. 1 For instance, Fabianism was at work in a 
proposal made by the committee of the London School 
Board that the feeding of necessitous children should no 
longer be left to private enterprise, but should be under- 
taken, as part ofjts routine, by the board. The proposal 
was rejected. A growing opposition to extensions of 
municipal trading was due to knowledge that this was a 
chosen line of socialist advance. A movement for the 
establishment of a joint committee of the two Houses of 
Parliament in order to consider the limiting of municipal 
trading was, during the session, receiving the support of 
the London and other Chambers of Commerce. Muni- 
cipalities at the moment had been forced into an unfor- 
tunate position. A scheme had been propounded, in a 
private Bill, for generation of electricity, in bulk, at the 
pit's mouth, thereby saving the cost of transport of coal. 
The Association of Municipal Corporations had opposed 
the scheme. It hardly could have done otherwise ; the 
municipalities had so lately spent vast sums on electrical 
equipment and had not had time as yet to show an ade- 
quate return on the ratepayers' money. None the less 
the opposition was easily representable as an insistence 
on monopoly at the cost of national progression. 

Two problems of London administration were discussed 
during the session. ' One was the question of the water 
supply. The London County Council again promoted a 
Bill for obtaining water from the Welsh hills. But at this 
time the Royal Commission which had been appointed to 
consider the subject reported in favour of a system of 
intercommunication between areas served by the different 
companies, to be enforced, if necessary, by the Local 
Government Board. This intercommunication was 
already begun, 2 and the Royal Commission's report 
coincided with the common-sense view that there was 

1 Vol. i., pages 1 56 and 335 
1 Ibid, page 400: 


in fact no lack of water, and no need to go to the huge 
expense of the County Council project, if unification of 
the existing supplies were obtained. Moreover, recent in- 
vestigations had thoroughly re-established the healthiness 
and purity of the reservoir principle, and quashed the 
half -sentimental ideas in regard to " water from the hills." 
The other London question was the congestion of traffic 
in the streets. Busy men were grumbling loudly at their 
loss of time ; and the Home Secretary introduced a Bill 
giving the police authorities additional powers to make 
orders controlling the traffic, to regulate routes of omni- 
buses and their stopping places, and other such matters. 
There had been a good deal of complaint of the empty 
cabs moving slowly along the edges of roadways ; the 
police authorities now forbade cabs to " crawl " for hire 
in the Strand, Piccadilly or Bond Street. This was felt 
to be rather hard on the cabmen ; and many people con- 
sidered the first attack should have been on tradesmen's 
vans, which obstructed traffic not only by their slow 
movement, but by standing against the kerb, loading and 
unloading, in crowded thoroughfares. 

Another traffic problem so much discussed this year that 
it extinguished the usual " silly season " topics was the 
amalgamation of the South Eastern and London, Chatham 
& Dover railways. Both lines had long been attacked 
for their slowness, unpunctuality, and the dinginess of 
their rolling stock. The large northern railways had 
familiarised the public with corridor carriages, dining-cars, 
and comfort, even for third-class passengers. Amalgama- 
tion of the two lines, abolishing competition between them, 
might, it was feared, end all prospect of their improvement. 
Healthiness of competition formed the chief text of the 
discussion that ensued. Consequently a particular degree 
of welcome was given to a new railway venture, when the 
extension of 'the Manchester, Sheffield & Lincolnshire 
Railway's system to London was opened, in March, and 


the name of it was changed to the Great Central 

An event of considerable importance was the publica- 
tion, after three years' work, of the Report of the Royal 
Commission on the Licensing Laws. 1 Yet it was not of 
the importance it might have been, for two reasons. 
The first was that the outbreak of the Boer War pushed 
all home legislation into the background, and for several 
years there was no chance of forcing the Government to 
attempt legislation which was certain to be highly contro- 
versial. The second reason was that the report was far 
from unanimous the chairman himself did not sign it. 
There were in fact two quite distinct reports. Hopes that 
had relied on the unusual composition of the commission 
had not been justified. In appointing eight members of 
the licensed victualling trade, eight temperance reformers, 
and eight neutral men, the Government had clearly hoped 
for some report embodying a working compromise between 
extremes of opinion. Conservatives had had two or three 
uncomfortable experiences of producing licensing questions 
for debate in Parliament 2 ; they no doubt hoped that in 
this case some of the sharpness of debate might have been 
got over in the privacy of the sittings of the commission, 
and that the next attempt at legislation (some attempt 
inevitably lay ahead of them, under pressure of that 
Church opinion they could not afford to alienate) might 
be upon the basis of an agreed compromise. Such hopes 
were shattered. In April it began to be known that there 
was a serious division among members of the com- 
mission ; then followed the announcement that Lord 
Peel had resigned his chairmanship, because his draft 
report had not been accepted ; and there ensued a most 
unseemly amount of bickering as to whether Lord Peel 
had or had not tried to be high-handed, as to whether 

1 Vol. i., page 396. 

* Ibid, pages 230 and 270. 


certain of his colleagues had pursued purely destructive 
tactics in discussing the draft report ; and so on. What 
had actually taken place was of the greatest encourage- 
ment to temperance reformers, even though it had split 
the commission. Lord Peel, who had entered upon his 
task in the most neutral frame of mind, had been con- 
verted by the evidence he had heard to becoming an ardent 
advocate of the return, at the earliest possible moment, to 
the outright annual conditions of licences to re-endowing 
licensing authorities, after a certain number of years' 
notice, with the power to refuse renewal without any ques- 
tion of compensation. " It has come," he said, in his re- 
port, " to be a struggle for mastery between the State and 
the trade. . . . Who is to be master ?" He took the view 
that, by a certain carelessness, the State had allowed the 
purely annual character of a licence to lapse ; therefore it 
would not be just to refuse to recognise that the State had 
become responsible for a reasonable expectation of re- 
newal ; but all that was necessary was to let the trade have 
notice that after a certain term of years the State would 
resume complete possession, so to speak, of all licences ; 
the trade in the interim would make its own arrange- 
ments with regard to the new conditions. Such was the 
fundamental cause of disagreement in the commission. 
Members might wrangle afterwards as to whether a 
unanimous report on certain lines would not have been 
possible, if Lord Peel had shown willingness to modify 
his draft. It was contended, for instance, that there might 
have been a report recommending (1) the creation of a new 
licensing authority, on which county councillors would 
serve with justices of the peace; (2) the creation of a 
new Appeal Court in the place of Quarter Sessions, the 
new court to be not open to county justices, and therefore 
to be above the reach of canvassing from either side; 
(3) a reduction of Sunday hours, and of the privileges of 
bona-fide travellers, also restrictions as to serving liquor 


to children; (4) prohibition under penalties for serving 
persons known to be inebriates ; (5) the placing of 
pre-1869 beer-houses under the ordinary licensing autho- 
rity. But it was not, after all, more than speculation 
that these recommendations would have been adopted 
unanimously. Almost certainly, even to gain these so 
desirable reforms, temperance members of the commission 
would have felt that their price, in relinquishing the 
policy of systematic reduction of licences, was too heavy. 
At any rate the commission did divide irretrievably. 
A majority of the members for Lord Peel failed to carry 
the neutral members with him continued to meet under 
the vice-chairman, Sir Algernon West, and drew up their 
report. Lord Peel and the temperance members signed a 
Minority Report. 

Though for the time being the subject of the Licensing 
Laws was thrust into the background, it became finally so 
vital a matter of political controversy, and did so much to 
invigorate Liberalism for its revival in 1906, that no 
apology is needed for giving space to it here. As it is, 
however, impracticable to set out the two Reports in 
full, we may consider the main points of agreement, 
and of difference, between them. 

1. They agreed in the opinion that there were " con- 
gested areas " in licensing, and that a large reduction 
of licences was necessary. But whereas this was more or 
less of a " pious opinion " in the Majority Report, Lord 
Peel's Report gave it reality by expressing further the view 
that there was proved connection between the number 
of licences in a district and the number of convictions for 
drunkenness. From this Lord Peel deduced the opinion 
that a fixed proportion of licences to population was a 
practicable ideal ; and he recommended that the licensing 
authorities should be compelled to reduce, within seven 
years, the number of licences to that proportion. 

2. The reports may be said in one sense to have agreed 


that compensation should be paid for licences extinguished 
on grounds other than those of misconduct ; but they 
differed as to whether such compensation should only be 
payable for a limited term of years. Much controversy 
later will be unintelligible unless it is made clear that the 
difference upon this last point went deeper than appeared. 
The Majority Report regarded compensation as payment 
for the State's destruction of a valuable interest. The 
Minority Report did not acknowledge the principle of 
compensation in that sense at all. It recommended that 
notice should be given to the trade that in seven years' 
time the State would resume its power of granting strictly 
single-year licences ; but for licences extinguished before 
the close of that period a sum of money would be paid as 
commutation o] notice, not as compensation for an interest. 
That is, while admitting that expectation of renewal had 
been allowed to grow up, it was not admitted as being 
beyond the power of the State to put an end to that 

3. The Reports agreed that grocers' licences should be 
brought under the licensing authorities. Lord Peel's 
report went on to demand that grocers should keep 
separate premises for the sale of intoxicating liquors, and 
should not sell them in the ordinary course of their trade. 

4. The reports agreed upon a need for the reduction 
of Sunday hours of opening. Lord Peel's report recom- 
mended a system of local veto, whereby a district might 
establish complete Sunday closing. 

We saw in the last chapter that in trade the years 1898 
and 1899 were prosperous beyond all precedent. National 
finance, however, was in a less rosy condition. All the 
wealth of the country did not prevent the nation's having 
a deficit ; and it was natural that there should be searching 
criticism of a system of taxation which did not bring to the 
Exchequer the prosperity of the community. Something 
was felt to be amiss with the income-tax. An extra penny 


on this tax now brought in 2,150,000, and twenty years 
earlier it had brought in 1, 900,000. J The increase was 
ridiculously petty in face of the immense growth in private 
incomes ; and the cause was found in that extension of 
abatements which had accompanied rises in the income- 
tax, and had been especially associated with the Death 
Duties Budget. The " black-coated " class the clerk 
class was increasing, and this was the part of the com- 
munity chiefly benefiting from the exemption of small 
incomes, while it contributed less to the Exchequer in 
duties on liquor and tobacco than did the artisan. Direct 
taxation seemed to be falling on a smaller portion of the 
public. Would it not be possible to increase indirect 
taxation by returning to the rather wider basis of customs 
dues of thirty years earlier, when the free trade principle 
was not questioned, and yet the tariff had a more extensive 
range ? Meanwhile all sorts of proposals were being made 
to the Chancellor of the Exchequer ; he might, it was 
suggested, tax bicycles, steam launches, flash signs, ad- 
vertisement posters, cats, silk hats, bachelors, matches, 
revolvers, photographic cameras. But none of these 
proposals found a place in the Budget. The problem 
was no passing one ; it was only too clear that national 
expenditure was increasing, and was bound to increase. 
The Navy Estimates for 1899 were three millions higher 
than in 1898, and they were not at all likely to decrease. 
For just at this time the German Emperor was appealing 
to his people in order to make heavy increases in his navy, 
and thus a new element was added to that rivalry which 
hitherto had turned chiefly on the size of the French and 
Russian fleets. 2 In respect to these there was no relaxation 
of rivalry. Our relations with France were of the worst ; 
the year 1899 made famous the phrase " a policy of pin- 
pricks." That was the policy we believed France engaged 

1 The Times, 2?th February 1 899. 

2 Vol. i., page 351.- 


in a policy of petty irritations of England. Thus when 
France was pressing the Chinese Government for conces- 
sions at Shanghai, her action was regarded as almost 
hostile ; and, though the concessions were refused, dis- 
agreements concerning the Newfoundland fisheries and 
French control of Madagascar provided sources of continu- 
ous friction. Jingoism, gratified by the course of the 
Fashoda incident in 1898, 1 regarded every move made 
by France as a provocation. It was not slow, either, to 
take the opportunity for hectoring comment provided 
by the Dreyfus case, which still was continuing. The 
Cour de Cassation in June annulled the original trial, and 
ordered another trial to be held at Rennes. The military 
and Anti-Semite party was so strong that when the 
prisoner returned to France in July he was landed at an 
obscure port in Brittany ; and the train in which he was 
conveyed was stopped some distance from Rennes, and 
his journey completed by road. The second trial ended 
early in September in a second verdict of guilty, and a 
sentence of ten years' imprisonment. English comment 
was bitterly hostile ; nor was it .assuaged by the release 
of Dreyfus a fortnight later, on pardon ; or by the comical 
twist Anti-Semitism assumed when a prominent Anti- 
Semite, M. Gu6rin, defied arrest in his house in Paris and 
sustained a thirty-seven days' siege. Throughout the 
year the tone of English comment upon French affairs 
must have been highly irritating to France ; and there 
could not but have been ironical surprise in that country 
when, towards the end of the year, being involved ourselves 
in an undertaking not at the moment flattering our 
susceptibilities, we gravely complained of an outbreak of 
" Anglophobia " in France. 

Altogether there hardly could have been a more un- 
fortunate year for the meeting of a conference the Tsar of 
Russia had convened to discuss an international agree- 
1 Vol. i., page 441. 


ment for the limitation of armaments. Not only was 
international temper at its best uncertain, and at its worst 
inflamed, but commercial rivalry was increasing ; the 
" open door " of trade had been forced by Japan in China, 
and seemed to require forcing elsewhere. 1 Every nation 
too had its pet invention in warlike machinery : France 
was experimenting busily with submarine boats; Germany 
with war balloons ; England with new explosives. Would 
any nation consent to stay its hand ? But unfavourable 
as the time was, the conference met, and not entirely in 
vain. True, the main proposal, that for the limitation of 
armaments, disappeared. But certain conventions of war 
were established by Declarations, and some proposals in 
the imperfect state of Vceux which may be translated 
humane aspirations formally endorsed by the conference. 
The three Declarations prohibited (a) the throwing of 
projectiles or explosives from balloons, for a period of five 
years ; (b) the use of projectiles which had for sole object 
diffusion of asphyxiating gases ; (c) the use of bullets 
which expanded or flattened on impact. Great Britain, 
it must be mentioned, declined to sign the last declaration, 
on the ground that in her dealings with savages she could 
not afford to restrict herself to bullets which did not stop 
the onrush of an enemy ; but she undertook not to employ 
expanding bullets against civilised opponents. The con- 
ference achieved also the formal setting up of an Inter- 
national Arbitration Tribunal with a rota of judges. 

The conference broke up at the end of July. A lurid 
light on the horizon confronted its members even as they 
were leaving the scene of their labours. 

1 The Cobden Club this year issued a letter to its members 
urging that the Club should take more active interest in questions 
of foreign policy, as a legitimate extension of its work. 



TO the eyes of the general public in England the 
rupture with the Transvaal had three stages. 
The first was the arrival of theUitlanders' petition 
setting forth the grievances of their position on the Rand, 
in April. The second was the conference between Sir 
Alfred Milner and President Kruger at Bloemfontein, in 
May. The third was the exchange of increasingly frigid 
despatches, in September. The process of gradual con- 
centration of public interest may be traced in another way. 
Until June Transvaal affairs made but an occasional 
appearance in the leading columns of The Times ; through 
June and July four or five leading articles a week, not de- 
pendent on any particular item of news, were devoted to 
the subject ; on 7th July appeared the first announcement 
of military preparations ; from the opening of August 
onwards the leading articles may be said to have appeared 
daily. The three stages may be noted in still another 
direction. The Uitlanders' petition was received in 
England with rather an uncertain voice ; it could be spoken 
of as an open question whether Mr Chamberlain would, by 
presenting it to the Queen, identify himself with the 
grievances it expressed. 1 Moreover foreign opinion had 
not yet stiffened ; leading French newspapers such as 
Le Temps, Les Debats and Le Siecle, though maintaining 
the suspicion, roused in 1896, that Mr Rhodes and Mr 
Chamberlain understood each other only too well, spoke 
of President Kruger as obstinate. The Bloemfontein 

1 The Times, pth May 1899. 
D 49 


negotiations were regarded in a changed spirit ; it would 
appear however that the greater part of the British nation 
regarded the negotiations as a defining of the issue in view 
of contingencies more or less remote. During the third 
stage, the exchange of despatches in September, no one had 
much doubt of what the next step would be those who 
deeply deplored it, as well as those who welcomed or 
acquiesced in it, thought of it as beyond question then. 
To what extent may the issue be said to have hung in 
the balance at all ? On the one side was President Kruger, 
who had passed his long life in the irritated belief that 
it was England's ambition to rule the whole of South 
Africa, who had, because of England's error, been able to 
give a sinister aspect to the reversal of the Transvaal 
annexation, 1 and who of late years had been much under 
the influence of an adviser, in the person of Dr Leyds, 
Secretary of State, condemned by even the strongest 
English opponents of the war as " the evil genius of 
Transvaal politics." 2 On the other side, as British Colonial 
Secretary, was a business man, the best of whose life had 
been lived in a time when middle-class " progress " was 
a worshipped ideal, who believed the bonds of trade 
prosperity to be the real bonds of empire ; a man whose 
energy always attached itself to action, an apostle of 
change, no less, though somewhat differently, as a Tory 
than he had been as a Liberal ; and lastly, one whose 
feeling was Radical without being ethical. 3 The contest 
was not in reality between Tory Imperialist pride and a 
small State which within twenty years had waxed to a 
rival ; that was only an element imported into the dis- 
pute. It was really between the older materialist Radical - 

1 Vol. i., page 69. 

2 J. A. Hobson, The War in South Africa, page 33. 

8 It was once remarked by a prominent Liberal that no ethical 
argument is to be found from first to last in Mr Chamberlain's 


ism, now by certain economic changes x placed within the 
Tory fold, and Boer obscurantism. A confirmation of 
this may be found in the prominence given to the franchise 
question the old battle-cry of the individualist Radicals. 
Mr Chamberlain was following his deepest instincts, and 
not the spirit of the party with which since 1886 he had 
been allied, when he made that question a catchword for 
the English populace. 

When we have thus established the protagonists, we find 
ourselves, in discussing the progress of the negotiations, 
traversing ground the interest of which is hardly more 
than dialectical. President Kruger was convinced that 
England's mind had long been made up; consequently 
events could not be stayed by appeal to a Transvaal 
tribunal he dominated. Neither could they be checked in 
an English public exasperated by his attitude and tempera- 
ment. None the less the course of events must be quickly 
gone over. 

The Uitlanders' petition, which was handed to Mr 
Conyngham Green, British Resident at Pretoria, on 26th 
March 1899, set forth a considerable list of grievances. 
It began by pointing out that the Rand provided about 
seven-eighths of the revenue of the Transvaal, and that 
taxation of the gold industry had raised that revenue 
from 154,000 in 1886 to a sum approaching 4,000,000 
in 1398 ; but that meanwhile the foreign residents, whose 
businesses provided this overwhelming proportion of 
the revenue, being without votes, had no voice in its 
expenditure. They were without part, therefore, in the 
appointment, payment or control of the officials in charge 
of affairs on the Rand. The second point was that the 
foreign population was badly treated in the matter of 
education, and, without votes, had no prospect of better 
facilities ; the Uitlander schools according to the petition 
received only 650 out of the 63,000 allotted by the 
1 Vol. i., page 363: 


Boer Government to education, and the average amount 
spent per child was stated to be Is. lOd. on Uitlander 
children and 8, 6s. on Boer children. The next item was 
a demand for municipal government for Johannesburg ; 
this was supported by charges of corruption and violence 
in the police force, and by instances of the backwardness 
of the authorities, as that no drainage system, and no 
water-supply except from perambulating carts, existed. 
After this came complaints of despotic laws controlling the 
Press and the rights of public meeting. Finally, there were 
accusations of the Boer Government's more or less cor- 
rupt oppression of the mining interests ; the supply of 
dynamite, which was a necessity in the mines, was in the 
hands of a monopolist syndicate, and it was calculated 
that the mineowners paid 600,000 a year more than the 
market price for an inferior quality of dynamite ; the 
liquor laws were said to be so ill administered that Kaffirs 
could obtain what was nominally forbidden to them ; the 
State railways were complained of as extortionate and 
incompetently managed ; concessions for the monopoly 
supply of ordinary articles of consumption could, it was 
said, be secured by bribery, the result being to keep the 
cost of living at an abnormal height. 

The indictment was a formidable one. It acquired a 
force which practically swept away argument from the 
fact that, considered without relation to other circum- 
stances, all the statements of the petition were true. 
In attempting to supply these statements with a back- 
ground, it will be convenient to deal with them in reverse 

Complaint of corrupt oppression of the mining industry 
may be narrowed down at once to the matter of the 
dynamite monopoly. The cost of the necessaries of life 
was already falling, the Netherlands Railway had reduced 
its charges by some 200,000 during 1898. Any ground 
of complaint that may still have existed, under these 


heads, was comparatively insignificant. As to the 
dynamite, English Liberals replied that it was rather 
fallacious to talk of conditions of a free market when 
practically only one firm manufactured it in quantity. 
But that the retailing monopoly of it was a bad thing, 
founded in corruption, and casting more than a shadow 
of corruption on President Kruger himself, no one denied. 

The complaint of despotic laws against the Press and 
against the right of public meeting was less genuine. 
The petitioners neglected to mention that neither law 
was unknown to the United Kingdom (the law concern- 
ing public meetings was practically identical with that 
enforced in Ireland), nor did they remember to mention 
that no action under either law had been taken till feeling 
was expressing itself in terms no government would have 
tolerated. Even then only one street meeting was 
suppressed, and although the editors of certain Johannes- 
burg newspapers were arrested in September 1899, the 
publication of their papers was not suspended by the 

The demand for municipal government for the Rand 
had had Mr Chamberlain's support in 1896 ; he had put 
it forward then as a means of settling the Uitlander 
question without the grant of the franchise. 1 The pro- 
posal need not be dwelt upon, because President Kruger 
would not have agreed to see a part of the Transvaal 
territory separately administered ; he would have per- 
ceived even in municipal government the beginning of 
the same kind of severance which had already detached 
diamond-yielding Kimberley from the Orange Free State. 

The franchise question wore, to the President's mind, 
a similar menace. If he gave a franchise on equal 
terms to the Rand, he gave a large share in the control 
of his country to foreigners who were of a kind likely by 
their activity, their greater familiarity with methods of 
1 Vol. i., page 389. 


political agitation, and their greater facilities (owing to 
the density of their population) for combined action, 
practically to outweigh the Boer voice, even if, as yet, 
their numbers were smaller. In 1880 the qualification 
for the franchise had been singularly easy : it consisted 
merely of a year's residence. In 1885, after the Boers 
had obtained the Convention of London, the qualification 
was raised to five years' residence. This was the same 
as in Great Britain and the United States. Probably 
President Kruger was at this time taking alarm ; for, 
though in 1885 the Rand goldfields showed to the world 
at large few indications of their immense wealth, the 
Transvaal itself may well have suspected it. By 1890 
the inrush of foreigners had become enormous, and 
the franchise qualification had been stiff ened to fourteen 
years' residence. President Kruger, however mis- 
guidedly, felt then that his back was to the wall. Con- 
cessions he made in the Bloemfontein conference he was 
unable to make without severe and baffling restrictions. 
And, the moment these restrictions were objected to, 
his fear of the Rand's dominion of his country made him 
detect a baleful purpose for which such objections were 
but a cloak. He said that, if he granted the franchise 
demanded, he might as well haul down the Boer flag. 
His fears may have been partly personal ; his 
obstinate desire to keep the Transvaal an agricultural 
state may have been obscurantist. But that the grant 
of the franchise to the Rand population must have 
completely altered Boer rule cannot be denied. The 
mass of the Uitlanders could not have made the kind 
of burgher President Kruger understood the hardened 
campaigner ready at twelve hours' notice to be in the 
saddle with rifle and rations. The new electorate might 
have become burghers in name, but they would have 
remained at heart foreigners with little, if any, intention 
of making the Transvaal their home. But, it may be 


asked, was Kruger's conception of burghership keeping 
pace with even the development of the Boers themselves ? 
Dangers of earlier days no longer threatened from the 
Zulus, Matabeles or Mashonas. Did not Kruger's poli- 
tical philosophy rely a good deal on the ignorance and 
lack of concern for administration in his ideal burgher, 
by which a corrupt oligarchy kept itself in power ? 
The question has considerable force. Kruger's objections 
to the transitory nature of the Rand population, which 
came into the country to make money, and went out 
when it had made it, might have been applied to many 
members of his own administration. The Boers had 
been too small and too scattered a population to equip 
fully an administrative system. Dutch officials in 
large numbers had been introduced ; and many of these 
had come as definitely to make money, and to go home 
again, as the Uitlander had. The Boer Government, 
however, had by this time largely been purged of 
imported officials ; once there had been nearly 2000 
Dutchmen in administrative posts ; now there were 
only 306. Kruger clearly believed that, if he gave 
the Uitlanders the franchise they demanded, the State 
he had built up would not survive. There had been 
men of weight and influence in his Government who 
had not shared his fears. Once or twice, as in the case 
of the Uitlanders' petition to the Raad in 1894, Liberal 
opinion among the Boers had made itself apparent ; 
General Joubert was known to share in it. But the 
Jameson Raid had ruined the influence of this party. 
It had immensely strengthened President Kruger's 
prejudices and crippled the influence of those who had 
worked to free his mind of its direst suspicions. From 
the date of the Raid, Kruger's views were dominant, 
and the most open-minded Boers dropped out of office. 1 
One possible way of peace had remained : the English 
1 J. A. Hobson, The War in South Africa, page 20, 


might have remembered that Kruger was old, and waited 
for his death. It was more than likely that, when that 
occurred, the Liberal Boers would have returned to the 
Raad, and they would have been aided by the leading Afrik- 
anders of the Cape, who recognised the necessity of reforms, 
and did not dread them. " One and all held that, in the 
more distant future, England would, and must, in the 
natural course of events, control the Transvaal politically 
as well as economically." * To them, all seemed to 
hinge on the Uitlanders' exercise of some patience. 
General Butler, the British Commander-in-Chief at 
Capetown, had said : " What South Africa wants is rest, 
and not a surgical operation." 

Yet from the moment when Mr Chamberlain accepted 
the Uitlanders' petition to the Queen it was clear that 
the policy was not to be one of delay. What was the 
reason of this decision ? It cannot genuinely be found 
in the material conditions of the Uitlanders. They 
complained of taxation, but the Transvaal took only 
five per cent, of their profits, and most of their companies 
were paying colossal dividends. They complained of the 
cost of living, but that, as we saw, was falling. They 
complained of backwardness, and a certain amount of 
corruption in civil administration ; but that could hardly 
have been regarded as occasion for an outpouring of blood. 
Taking together the tone of Mr Chamberlain's and the 
tone of Sir Alfred Milner's despatches, it seems possible 
to trace two main lines of impulse. In South Africa 
there were wounded pride, incessant irritation, and a 
knowledge that Mr Rhodes entertained huge territorial 
projects. In England there were impatience with a slow- 
going people and a general restlessness and business 
enthusiasm which could be swept into any outcry for 
expansion. A more specific factor, but one which could 
only operate after the more general impulses were at 
1 J. A; Hobson, The War in South Africa. 


work, was England's knowledge of extensive purchases 
of armaments on the part of the Boers, since 1896. 
It is true that Captain Younghusband, 1 from the point 
of view of a traveller, and Lord Rosmead, from the 
official point of view, both expressed the opinion that 
these armaments were for defensive purposes. But 
could such a distinction at this time be drawn ? It could 
not. Temper on the Rand had risen to such a height that 
no one could say what the alarm of the Boers would regard 
as an implicit ultimatum. England's massing of troops 
on the Colonial frontiers in September, too, was a move- 
ment of alarm, and not of offence. At any time during 
1899 the Boers might have decided that, for their own 
safety, they must push Great Britain back. 

At the tune of the Jameson Raid, England had been 
startled by the revelation of a state of feeling of which 
she had had no warning. 2 Now again feeling on the spot 
had settled the question. But this time the formal case 
had been prepared alongside the events ; and it was a 
case that fitted exactly with Mr Chamberlain's mind. 
He adopted with real enthusiasm demands for con- 
stitutional progress, administrative reform, and the 
well-being of industry. At the time when the Uitlanders' 
petition was sinking into English minds, and preparations 
for a meeting between Sir Alfred Milner and President 
Kruger were taking place, Mr Rhodes was in England. 
He had come for more capital for his railway projects in 
new British South African territories, and he had been 
to Berlin for an interview with the German Emperor. 
This visit, carefully chronicled, could but stimulate the 
public imagination of his great schemes at the very 
moment when British enterprise in South Africa was 
represented as being checked by the Boers. Mr Rhodes 
raised his capital without much difficulty (though it was 

1 South Africa of To-Day, page 101. 

2 Vol. i., page 384. 


believed that he had vainly tried to interest the Treasury 
first), and announcement of the fact was accompanied 
by the comment, " we must firmly uphold the flag." 1 
The meeting between Sir Alfred Milner and Mr Kruger 
took place at Bloemfontein on 30th May. Sir Alfred 
Milner proposed that Mr Kruger should grant a five years' 
retro-active qualification for the franchise, with adequate 
(not proportionate) representation in the Raad of the 
Uitlander population. Kruger's reply was an offer of 
a seven years' qualification, and five members out of 
a total of thirty-one, in the Raad. For the moment 
it seemed to casual onlookers in England that Kruger 
was softening. They did not realise that in Kruger's 
stipulation that his proposed grant should be accompanied 
by England's agreement to refer to arbitration any 
difficulties arising in future between England and the 
Transvaal lay all the old battered question of " suzer- 
ainty " ; and that to have granted this clause would have 
been to grant that England held no peculiar relation to 
the Transvaal. On the whole the general English feeling 
in June and July was that President Kruger was showing 
he could be squeezed, and to our advantage. That 
was the sense in which Milner's notorious despatch was 
interpreted. The despatch, though dated 5th May, was 
not published until 18th June, when a Transvaal Blue 
Book was issued. Milner wrote : " The spectacle of 
thousands of British subjects kept permanently in the 
position of Helots, constantly chafing under undoubted 
grievances, and calling vainly to her Majesty's Govern- 
ment for redress, does steadily undermine the influence 
and reputation of Great Britain, and the respect for the 
British Government within the Queen's dominions " ; 
he further expressed his belief that the time had arrived 
for " some striking proof of the intention of her Majesty's 
Government not to be ousted from its position in South 
1 The Times, 2/th April 1899. 


Africa." That despatch appeared to many level-headed 
persons in England, in no way predisposed to the Boers, 
to be exaggerated and rhetorical ; " Helot " was a 
ridiculous word to employ. But still the hope prevailed 
that strong language was being used as a preventive. 
In June and July a Franchise Bill was under discussion 
in the Raad, and the Afrikanders of the Cape were active 
in persuasion in support of it. During its discussion it 
received practically the form of Kruger's offer at Bloem- 
fontein. Comments of newspapers and English public 
men upon it were for a while non-committal. July was 
not far advanced, however, before English comment was 
clear. Two conditions were attached to the proposed 
franchise : one, that applicants must produce a certificate 
of continuous registration of residence in the Transvaal ; 
and the other that the new burghership would not be 
made permanent until the first Raad elected under the 
new conditions had pronounced upon it. It was instantly 
pointed out, with regard to the first condition, that 
registration had been allowed by the Transvaal authorities 
to fall practically into disuse ; few Uitlanders, if any, 
could produce such certificates. With regard to the 
second, the members for the Rand would be so far in 
a minority that no one could take seriously a franchise 
dependent on reconsideration by the Raad. These 
misgivings were fatal ; the Uitlanders were afraid of 
divesting themselves of their existing nationality, in 
order to become burghers, without the assurance of being 
in their new state a considerable and forcible body. 

From this tune on the negotiations with the Transvaal 
in effect ceased to hang on the franchise. Mr Chamberlain 
sent, towards the end of July, a despatch proposing the 
setting up of a joint commission to examine the Transvaal's 
new measure ; and the controversy thenceforward turned 
on whether or no Great Britain still could claim suzerainty 
over the Transvaal. For that was the sense in which the 


Boers interpreted this proposal. Little could be hoped 
from such a discussion. It had been raised during 1898 
between Mr Chamberlain and Dr Leyds, with small 
profit. The Transvaal then maintained that the claim to 
suzerainty had been dropped in the London Convention 
of 1884 : Great Britain maintained that it had never 
been intentionally dropped, and that the mere absence 
of the term from the opening passage of that convention 
proved nothing, since that passage was not technically 
a preamble. 

The controversy had now ceased to be one of reasoning 
and representation of grievances. It had bared the old 
root of dislike and suspicion, and had entered upon a 
course, the issue of which could only be the Transvaal's 
surrender of its claim to be an independent sovereign State, 
or war. It is most important to note this changed aspect. 
Suzerainty was not a necessary condition for obtaining 
redress of the Uitlanders' grievances. The fact that, after 
the futile discussion of 1898, it now reappeared as in 
the last resort the vital question, showed that each of the 
negotiating parties had come to the conclusion that the 
aim of the other party was hostile. The despatches x 

1 The character and dates of the exchanges may be briefly set 
out as follows : 

(a) British despatch proposing a joint com- 
mission ..... 2nd Aug. 

(6) Transvaal reply, declining this, and pro- 
posing instead a five years' retro-active 
franchise, and an increase of seats in the 
Raad, on conditions amounting to recog- 
nition of the Transvaal as a sovereign state 1 2th Aug. 

(c) British reply, insisting on suzerainty . 28th Aug. 

(d~) Transvaal reply denying suzerainty, with- 
drawing the last offer, proposing to revert 
to the joint commission, and asking for 
explanation of movements of troops on 
the Natal frontier . . . 2nd Sept. 

(0) British reply, refusing to revert, and stating 


exchanged during September were a mere gaining of time. 
On the Boer side this time was occupied in such preparations 
as the burning of the veldt, to hasten the growth of new 
grass for the horses during a campaign ; the driving off 
behind the Drakensberg of the cattle and sheep of the Free 
State, which were accustomed to wander on the Natal 
boundary at pasture ; and in accumulation of stores at 
Volksrust, Vryheid, and Standerton. On the British 
side there was an increase, gravely inadequate to the event, 
but in itself considerable, of the forces in the South 
African colonies. The first move was made on 6th July, 
when two companies of Royal Engineers and departmental 
corps, and a group of officers, including Colonel R. S. S. 
Baden-Powell and Colonel Plumer, were ordered to South 
Africa, " to organise the residents, as well as the police 
and local forces, at various points on the frontier." On 
9th August two battalions of infantry were ordered to 
Natal ; and the announcement was made that 11,000 men 
were being held ready in India. After the Cabinet Council 
of 8th September (the summoning of which was so eagerly 
discussed that it was obviously treated by popular 
opinion as practically a Council of War) the Indian 
drafts were ordered to embark. 

Whether a stronger or more united Liberal Opposition 
in the British Parliament could have checked the course 
of these events must remain uncertain. Mr John Morley 

that H.M. Government proposed now to 
formulate proposals de novo . . 8th Sept. 

(/) Transvaal reply, expressing surprise at this 
communication, and again proposing to 
revert to a joint commission . . i6th Sept. 

(#) British reiteration of the despatch of 8th 

September .... 22nd Sept. 

(A) Boer despatch, requesting to know what 
decision H. M. Government had taken as 
to new proposals .... 3oth Sept. 

(t) Boer ultimatum .... pth Oct. 


was regarded as almost the only real Liberal of command- 
ing power in a perfectly clear frame of mind ; and he, with 
a small band of comrades, among whom must be mentioned 
Mr Courtney, Mr Philip Stanhope, Mr G. W. E. Russell, 
Sir Wilfrid Lawson and Mr Labouchere, had the courage, 
at the moment when the Jingo spirit was rising in England, 
to hold meetings of protest. By the middle of September 
the police were warning the conveners of such gatherings 
that organised interruption might at any moment amount 
to breaking-up the meeting. That this band of Liberals 
was comparatively small need not be attributed to a mere 
inclination on the part of the rest to surrender to a violent 
current. There was, as has already been said, much in 
the Liberal party that necessarily responded to a skilful 
statement of such grievances as taxation without re- 
presentation, monopolist control of trade, mismanagement 
of administration, and corruption in high places. The 
questions whether or no these grievances were so urgent 
as to demand instant redress, whether a few years would 
not have seen profound changes in the dominant person- 
alities of the Transvaal, may indeed have been important 
may have been even the root of the matter but were 
certainly difficult to present, and uninspiring in a time of 
tense feeling. The actual balance of opinion in the Liberal 
camp was not quite fairly shown by the division taken 
at the meeting of the National Liberal Federation on 
13th December, when a resolution that "the war was 
one which a wise statesmanship could and would have 
avoided " was carried by only 114 votes to 94. We had 
by then been at war for two months, and were at that 
moment sustaining serious reverses. The more apposite 
fact is that a large body of Liberal opinion inclined 
to the view that, if the Uitlanders' grievances could be 
shown to be exaggerated, Kruger's attitude was equally 

One other point remains to be noted. In an article 


in The Nineteenth Century 1 (valuable as appearing in a 
review not given to opposing public opinion) a contributor 
writing of the tone of the British Press during the month 
of October remarked ; " Surely we never before went to 
war when there was so much uncertainty as to the casus 
belli." It might have been supposed that continuous 
comment on the relations between Great Britain and the 
Transvaal for six months before the war might have in- 
structed the public. The truth perhaps was that England 
had never acquired a real relation with her colonies. 
A long period of indifference to them, in which self- 
government was readily granted, and responsibilities were 
dormant, had been succeeded by a period of sentiment 
due largely to Mr Chamberlain. When war broke out, and 
offers of assistance arrived from one colony after another 
the music halls rang with songs about " the lion's cubs " 
and " sons across the seas " which could not but have been 
ludicrously offensive to any Colonial confronted with the 
audiences that sang them. Those who opposed the war 
spirit in England were moved, not only by their view of 
the policy that preceded it, but by a conviction that, in 
the minds of the great mass of the people, the undertaking 
was regarded with no proper sense of responsibility or 
seriousness of purpose. 

1 November 1899. 



IT is no part of the object of this book to relate in 
detail the progress of the war in South Africa ; that 
has been done by works already in existence. The 
course of feeling in England, however, may provide some 
commentary on the war. 

Certainly, if we never entered on a war with less know- 
ledge of the root of it, we never entered on one in more 
complete ignorance of the quality of our opponents. Here, 
again, the absence of a genuine relation between England 
and the colonies was largely to blame. Had we had an 
honest respect for them, or they for us, such ignorance 
would have been impossible. But merely sentimental 
Imperialism was invoked ; and it became apparent that 
the nation had but a sentimental view of its capacity for 
war, or of the task before it. Comic prints in England on 
the very eve of the outbreak presented the Boer forces as 
shambling regiments of bearded oafs, who grinned vacu- 
ously, and fell over their own rifles. 1 It was part of the 
prevailing ignorance that they were nearly always repre- 
sented on foot. Again, although, in view of the many 
alarmist statements that had been made about the Boer 
armaments, there could hardly be ignorance of their pos- 
session of big and modern guns, yet the power of these guns 
was unknown ; and the personnel of the Boer artillery 
arm was believed to be poor, and far below a proper 
standard of training in such matters, for instance, as the use 

1 See, e.g., Punch, 4th October 1899. 



of time-fuses. 1 The party capital made by the Conserva- 
tives out of the course taken by the Liberal Goveinment 
after Majuba was now recoiling on them ; their cry had 
always been that England had made an egregious surrender, 
that the Boers had only won a few chance engagements, 
in which we had been caught ill prepared, and that they 
could never have endured a campaign. The natural 
effect of this upon the public was to make it forget any- 
thing it had ever heard about the Boer's fighting qualities 
in the early days of the Transvaal, and imagine that he had 
no power of acting as an army against an army. True, 
a general feeling existed, when the Boer ultimatum was 
issued on 9th October, that we had been caught before we 
had completed our arrangements : there were still con- 
tingents from India on the sea. But deficiencies, it was 
thought, could swiftly be supplied. General Buller was 
despatched as Commander-in-Chief, and the transport 
service, which turned out before many weeks were over 
to be one of the few matters on which we could pride 
ourselves, began to make up as speedily as possible the 
numbers of our arms in South Africa. The common 
popular opinion was that the war would be over by 
Christmas. Even the numbers of the enemy in the field 
against us were vague to the last degree in the public mind. 
To the end of the war accurate information on that point 
was hardly obtained. The most usual estimates in the 
Press put the Boer forces at something between 25,000 
and 35,000. The British Intelligence Department, it 
appeared later, estimated the Transvaal men alone at 
32,000, and the Orange Free Staters at 22,000. 

Before General Buller reached the Cape, England was 
facing the fact that her forces everywhere in South Af lica 
were on the defensive, and even desperately on the defen- 
sive. Early exchanges in the north of Natal, the surrender 
of British forces at Nicholson's Nek, the courageous, dogged 

1 The Times, nth October 1899. 


victory of Talana Hill, the dashing charges of Elands- 
laagte, had conveyed no particular message to the public, 
whatever they may have conveyed to the War Office, of 
revised opinions on the Boer marksmanship and the Boer 
artillery. But the succeeding stage, when it became clear 
that, even with the arrival of all the forces available, the 
war would have to begin at every point with recovery of 
our own territory, caused a great intensification of bellicose 
feeling in England. It grew with such rapidity that, when 
Parliament met, as it was bound to do, to vote supplies, 
and an Appropriation Bill was introduced, only twenty- 
eight members of the Opposition were found to vote 
against it. The attack on the Government for their policy 
had not, indeed, been a weak one. The amendment 
moved by Mr Philip Stanhope on the introduction of the 
Bill had produced one of the memorable nights in the his- 
tory of the House of Commons ; the galleries and the 
floor were alike ciowded ; and Mr Chamberlain had spoken 
for three hours in the Government's defence. But the 
division lobbies gave the first sign of that prevailing line 
of argument which left the Radical stalwarts so few in 
number the argument that, whatever its merits, the 
war had now begun, and to maintain protest against 
it could only add to the difficulties. 

Throughout November there was no event to cause any 
profound change in popular feeling. The general view 
remained that the Boer ultimatum had caught us with our 
dispositions incomplete ; but the adequacy of the disposi- 
tions themselves was not generally questioned. People 
settled down to take in how our forces lay ; early in 
the month the newspapers began to publish daily small 
articles by " military experts," with the object of making 
comprehensible to the ordinary reader a campaign which 
had, by the swiftness of the Boer attack, taken an unex- 
pected form. The enemy's forces were in two main bodies, 
one on the east, besieging Ladysmith, and another on the 


west, which, leaving Kimberley and Maf eking beleaguered, 
had penetrated southward as far as Belmont, in Cape 
Colony. The British attack, when the main body from 
England with General Buller and General Methuen had 
settled into place, would be delivered at these two points. 
Between these two points, though no equally considerable 
force of Boers had crossed the southern frontier of the 
Orange Free State, was a British division under General 
Gatacre. For the moment even the alarm caused by the 
revelation of the size and strength of the Boer guns was 
relieved ; on 30th October, just before Ladysmith was 
completely invested, one of the last trains to run into the 
town brought a naval brigade, supplied by the cruiser 
Powerful ; and one of the happiest popular moments 
of the war was that in which it was known that the sailors 
had, by their own handiness, invented and made field 
carriages for some of their big guns. For this stroke of 
inventiveness, Captain Percy Scott, of the Powerful, 
became a popular hero. The besieging of Ladysmith was 
less galling to people at home (as it was now known to be 
less menacing to the besieged themselves) when the place 
had guns not incapable of replying to the enormous 
Creusot pieces which the Boers had dragged to the sur- 
rounding hill-tops. The naval brigade had brought with 
them several 12-pounder quick-firers, and even some of the 
big 4.7-inch guns. We had been caught at an extraordin- 
ary disadvantage in artillery. This small republic had 
moved into battle guns of a size which had never hitherto 
been regarded as mobile pieces. But at last, when we 
had made our bitter discovery, we had corrected our 
mistake in a way that might legitimately give us pride. 
Not only in Ladysmith, but also with General Buller at 
Chievely, and with General Methuen on the Orange River, 
there were by the beginning of November naval brigades 
with their big and efficient guns. 

Far less criticism oi the Government was taking place 


than might have been expected. It was really saved 
from such consequences of its own apparent ignorance of 
the Boer resources by the fact that the Boers had attacked 
after a curt ultimatum. The result was that excuses were 
found for the Government, and the engagements at the 
end of October and during November did not daunt 
the public at home. The battles of Talana Hill, Elands- 
laagte, and Rietfontein in Natal, and those of Belmont and 
Enslin in Cape Colony, where General Methuen began his 
advance on 22nd November, had lost us on an average 
40 to 50 killed and 150 to 200 wounded. They had shown 
the disastrous efficacy of Boer marksmanship, and the power 
of the Mauser magazine rifle. But they had been battles 
which had not shaken traditional opinion of the British 
army's methods. True, it was already obvious that use of 
cover was the enemy's strength, and it was also obvious 
that our methods were strangely ill adapted to meet an 
army entirely mounted ; victory on our side was incon- 
clusive when the desperate winning of a hill revealed only 
bodies of the enemy scudding away on ponies out of range 
of pursuit. But as yet England appeared to find no heart- 
shaking quality in the war ; the casualty lists were not 
yet ghastly ; subscriptions to the relief funds and a 
patriotic enthusiasm seemed all that was specially called 
for. A jest could still be made of the subaltern starting 
for the war and packing his polo-sticks, because his idea 
was that one would fight in the morning and have time 
for a little polo in the afternoon. 

Then, late in November, on the 28th, occurred a battle 
which gave pause even to the newspaper reader 
Methuen's battle at the Modder River. This was not 
so much because it was more costly in life than others had 
been the casualty list amounted to about 450 as that 
it showed the Boers to be under leadership and discipline 
of a wholly unexpected kind. They had waited in unper- 
ceived entrenchments for the advancing force, and had 


reserved their fire till the British were within 700 
yards. They had dug their trenches, not on the slopes, 
to which artillery fire would naturally be directed, but on 
the low plain. After the first outbreak of the Boer fire 
the British had dropped to the ground, and, save for a 
force which managed to work round the Boer flank, had 
spent the whole long day lying flat on the spot where they 
had been checked, firing at the rare and elusive marks 
the Boers gave them, while the artillery on both sides 
kept up a more obvious battle. This engagement was the 
first to startle England with certain facts which very soon 
became painfully evident. One was that the Boers were 
able to carry out secretly entrenching operations on a very 
large scale, so that an army could move unsuspectingly 
on to ground completely dominated by rifle-fire with accur- 
ately known ranges. A second was that in such cases 
the force immediately under fire was reduced to something 
like immobility ; it could not retire, any more than it 
could advance, and was confined to maintaining a day- 
long rifle duel, with the disadvantage that it lay itself in 
the open, while its enemy was under cover. A third was 
that magazine rifles combined with marksmanship as 
good as that of the Boers rendered it impossible to carry 
such trenches save by more or less prolonged turning 

However, the main army under Buller had yet to move, 
and such lessons as there may have been in the Modder 
River battle were not pressed home. The name of Cronje, 
the Boer commander at this point, had not yet achieved its 
grimmest hold upon the public mind. A general sense 
that modern war produced ordeals of which the most 
acute military authorities could have no previous concep- 
tion remained the leading idea. This caused an outbreak 
of resentment against the critical and even jeering tone 
current in the Continental Press. There might, indeed, be 
little excuse for our ignorance in the matter of artillery ; 


but no one, it was maintained, could possibly have been 
prepared by theory for the lessons we were learning in the 
power of the modern rifle well used. Consequently it 
were better for nations not undergoing the fiery ordeal 
to be thankful that the lesson was laid before them at no 
cost to themselves, and to preserve some show of respectful 
observation. The German Emperor and Empress were 
just at this time in England, visiting the Queen at Windsor. 
It was acknowledged that the visit was well meant ; but 
a people on the verge of exasperation felt that at such a 
time sympathy was rather too ostentatious to be met with 
real gratitude. The Queen herself was remaining away 
from her beloved Balmoral, in order that the people 
might feel her as little withdrawn as might be in a time of 
trial. Aged and infirm as she now was, she had inspected 
the composite regiment of Household Cavalry which left 
for South Africa in November. The country thought of 
her with sorrow ; that at this far period of her long reign 
her people should be at war seemed to most of her subjects 
likely to be an anxiety too great for her failing strength. 

' Acceptance of the Kaiser's sympathetic interest was 
rather hindered than helped by a speech delivered by 
Mr Chamberlain in November, in which^he spoke of the 
possibility of a triple understanding between England, 
the United States, and Germany. He showed in this a 
curious failure of his usual capacity for gauging public 
opinion ; and he probably never in his life made a less 
popular suggestion. To begin with, it sounded like a 
half-admission, at a most inopportune moment, that we 
were nervous about our general position. Then it also 
appeared to be a rather adulatory acknowledgment of the 
fact that England was relieved by the Kaiser's careful 
abstention from anything which might be taken as an en- 
couragement to the Boers. There were a good many who 
felt that Mr Chamberlain had presumed on the undoubted 
pre-eminence he had gained by recent events, and imagined 


that he had shown himself capable of directing a Welt- 
politik, or at least that his countrymen would now be- 
lieve him capable of it. He was immediately undeceived. 
The speech had, even from the organs of his own party, 
the chilliest treatment ; and, although criticism of the 
Government was for the most part held in check on 
the Ministerial side, Mr Chamberlain very nearly did it the 
disservice of precipitating such criticism by propounding 
large ill-digested ideas at a moment when the Government 
was displayed as managing none too competently the 
business already on its hands. 

But all such feeling was swamped, before December was 
half over, in a shock of bewilderment, and furious deter- 
mination to underestimate no more a demand which 
had suddenly grown appalling. The " Black Week " of 
llth-16th December made the war the frightful reality 
which it had not yet been, in spite of patriotic songs and 
enthusiastic leave-takings of regiments and endless talk 
of war. On the Monday in that week the news was pub- 
lished that General Gatacre, moving in the midway region 
between the two main armies, which had hitherto pro- 
duced no encounters of great importance, had marched 
his men by night, almost certainly under treacherous 
guidance, into a fatal ambuscade. His troops, not having 
yet experienced, as Methuen's army had, the completely im- 
penetrable character of the rifle-fire of entrenched Boers, 
had attempted to rush the hills from which they were 
being shot down. The result was that a mere remnant 
of the force could be extricated from the trap, and though 
only twenty-six were killed, and about seventy wounded, 
six hundred had been taken prisoners, and two guns 
lost. By itself this disaster at Stormberg would have 
been serious, but not terrible ; it was blackened by 
what followed. On the Thursday came news of a disaster 
which was wholly dreadful. Methuen had advanced from 
the Modder River, where, after the ultimate success of his 


turning movement had caused the abandonment of the 
Boer trenches during the night, he had rested his men (who 
had fought three battles in a week during November) and 
received some reinforcement. Cronje was known to have 
occupied the time in entrenching a new position at Magers- 
fontein ; and against this Methuen now moved. What 
England heard was that, marching in the darkness into 
wire entanglements before the trenches, which had given 
the alarm, a column nearly 4000 strong had been 
absolutely cut to pieces by concentrated rifle and machine- 
gun fire, before it had taken open order. The Highland 
Brigade, led by General Wauchope, which had come up 
fresh and eager among the latest of Methuen's reinforce- 
ments, had been the main body of this column, and upon 
them had fallen the worst and most murderous slaughter 
of the war. No less than 600 had gone down, including 
the General, in the first few minutes. Again, as at the 
Modder River, the dreadful opening of battle was followed 
by a long day \ of fighting at a cruel disadvantage. More 
troops were moved up rapidly, some flanking attacks 
by the Boers were held off, artillery fell to work against 
the trenched hills, and regiment after regiment took up 
the rifle duel. But no turning movement could be 
attempted after such a disastrous beginning to the battle. 
The lines of Magersfontein remained victorious, and 
Methuen withdrew again to the Modder River. England 
faced for the first time a casualty list which numbered 
all but 1000, of which over 700 were in the 
Highland Brigade. Then, all too soon on this defeat, 
came the news that Buller himself had failed as com- 
pletely in his first movement in force. Here again the 
Boers had amply entrenched themselves on hills north 
of the Tugela River. The attack upon them had been 
repulsed, again with a casualty list of almost 1000 men, 
but the centre of disaster here had been, not a sudden 
overwhelming slaughter of men, but the loss of no less 


than ten guns. Two batteries of field artillery had 
advanced to an exposed spot within 1000 yards of the 
enemy's position, and the Boers shot down horses and 
men with such deadly accuracy and rapidity that only a 
tiny group was at last left to take refuge in a hollow, 
leaving the guns bare on the plain. A gallant effort to 
save them was led by three of Buller's aides-de-camp, 
and two guns were actually rescued. But the remaining 
ten fell into the Boers' hands. The troops were with- 
drawn to camp, leaving 970 on the field, and 250 prisoners. 

So the week ended. There had been often enough in 
English history battles far more bloody, and campaigns 
in most ways more terrible. But they had not occurred 
in days of cheap newspapers and instantaneous trans- 
mission of news. Casualty lists then were lump sums, 
impersonal round figures ; certainty came but long after- 
wards to homes which through the months had lost their 
men without knowing it ; and although the slow dis- 
semination of news meant a perpetual watchfulness and 
anxiety it must have been of a duller kind than the 
sensation of sharing almost at the moment in defeat. 
The^Black Week indeed brought war home. The lists of 
names occupying column after column of the newspapers, 
the sombre crowds waiting round the door of that room 
in the War Office where the lists were issued, the know- 
ledge that the whole of our boasted arms were reduced 
to the pause of defeat, bit as with acid. For the moment 
life ran more dumbly in England than it had run since the 
early days of the Indian Mutiny dumbly, and yet in- 
tensely. It was one of the grim signs of that week that 
women then first began to buy newspapers, as men do, 
from the sellers in the streets. 

The Government acted now promptly, and acted well, 
both from the point of view of the conduct of the war and 
from the point of view of restoring confidence at home. 
It was announced on the Monday morning of the following 


week 18th December that Lord Roberts had been 
appointed to the chief command in South Africa, and 
that Lord Kitchener of Khartoum would accompany him 
as his Chief of Staff. Nothing could have administered a 
more immediate or more vivifying tonic. An adored old 
soldier, whom men would follow anywhere and anyhow, 
whose reputation rang with tales of tight places brilliantly 
faced, and a young soldier who seemed to have a cold 
unastonished genius for victory the thought of these 
two put fresh heart into England. It was intimated that 
no formal supersession of General Buller was intended 
and indeed it had been clear that he too had a most 
valuable gift of making men follow him and believe in 
him, even in defeat but that the development of events 
had shown that what was intended to be the main attack 
on the Boers, and as such had been undertaken by him as 
Commander-in-Chief, had become a more or less partial 
attack. As both our main armies at present in the field 
were deeply engaged, it was necessary now to make fresh 
dispositions, and to have a Commander-in-Chief apart 
from both of the armies in check. The announcement of 
these appointments was followed by a great outburst of 
enthusiasm for extending the scope of our forces. Large 
contingents from the colonies, offered while the negotiations 
were running their last stage, had been accepted ; and 
some had been operating with the British forces for weeks 
past. Others were being raised, and now with quickened 
pace. In England a great call was made for yeomanry. 
If the Boers could raise a force entirely mounted, and show 
us the result in an astonishing mobility, could not a fox- 
hunting nation do the same ? In every shire men an- 
swered the call. At the same time infantry volunteers were 
asked for, and the City of London in especial set itself to 
raise a regiment and equip the men entirely at its own 
expense. The end of the year was buzzing with enrollings, 
drillings, equippings ; London was full of men in new 


khaki uniforms, who were made free of every music hall. 
Crofters and gillies and miners and hard-muscled ship- 
yard men from Scotland, farmers' sons, squires' sons, and 
solid labourers from the English counties, clerks and 
artisans from the towns, all poured into the new forces. 
Great lairds like Lord Lovat, rich men like Lord Strath- 
cona, raised their own bodies of horsemen, the former in 
Scotland, the latter in Canada. 

Both in equipment and hi such hurried drill as could be 
given, the learning of lessons began to be evident. Already 
people were saying that, just as flying colours and beating 
drums had disappeared from modern warfare, so scarlet 
and brass, badges and pipeclayed belts were going now. 
Nothing that could give the least hold to the eye of one of 
those terrible marksmen in the trenches must be allowed. 
Our losses in officers had been especially severe. Gold 
lace, a buckle here and there, a sash, had made them fatally 
distinct marks. Henceforth a tab more or less on the 
collar would have to suffice. Brown leather belts, leather- 
masked sword-hilts, khaki-covered buttons, distinguished 
the new equipments that paraded London. The less there 
was to tell an officer by, the better officer he ; the less a 
mounted man looked like a cavalryman, the better for his 
work. Command had begun to mean a new thing not 
the picturesque, gallant figure standing up and keeping the 
ranks calm by parade of coolness, but hitting a man between 
the eyes for coming out unnecessarily from behind a stone. 
Courage in the ranks meant less the reckless, daring charge 
up a slope than the infinitely patient, infinitely painful 
crawl through a long day. 

What would come out of the melting-pot could not yet 
be seen. That much, very much, had gone in was perhaps 
the one clear truth of the close of the year. That respect 
for the army's heads, and for the army's officers, had not 
gone in too is the greatest tribute that will ever be paid to 
the qualities of the classes those men were drawn from. 



THE opening of the year 1900 found the British 
public in a state of raw nerves. The first shock of 
the December disasters had been too intense for 
any petty expression at the moment ; and the new com- 
mands and the enthusiasm of enlistment had carried the 
nation through Christmas. Presents for the troops in the 
field, headed by the Queen's gift of a box of chocolate to 
each private soldier, occupied the minds and the organ- 
ising capacities of a great many persons ; plum puddings, 
tobacco, cigarettes, and all kinds of creature comforts 
were sent out by tons. Public subscriptions supplemented 
the private efforts of all who had friends or relations at the 
front ; and though this kind of effort might be regarded 
as rather trifling, it was a far from useless distraction of 
thought, both at home and in the camps where the vast 
miscellaneous distributions were made. 

But such a distraction could not be lasting. Even if 
anxiety had not returned in other ways, the news on 
6th January would have aroused it sharply. Throughout 
that day the telegrams in the evening newspapers produced 
the most disturbing uncertainty about Ladysmith that 
had yet been experienced. The Boers had attacked in 
force, and the battle was still raging on Caesar's Camp 
and Waggon Hill, two of the garrison's outposts. Of 
course the failure of Buller's relieving force had previously 
caused apprehensions. Under the bombardment Lady- 
smith was known to be en during, it had hardly been regarded 
as likely to bear a long siege, and that it had not sur- 



rendered before Buller could move was a matter for satis- 
faction. But with his defeat it became obvious that 
relief might be indefinitely delayed. Sir George White, 
the commanding officer in Ladysmith, had been magni- 
ficently reassuring. To a depressed message from Buller 
immediately after the battle of Colenso (they were in 
communication by heliograph and searchlight) he had 
answered that he could make his supplies last out, and 
had no thought of surrender. But strong assault by the 
Boers had hardly been anticipated in England (which had 
been consoling itself by saying that its enemy might be 
a deadly shot in trenches, but would not risk charging), 
so that the news of 6th January brought the real dread, 
whether, after more than two months' siege, the holding- 
out of the garrison could include the repulsing of a vigorous 

It did. Next day England knew that, after the sharpest 
hand-to-hand fighting, in which the Devons and the 
Imperial Light Horse a body of South African volunteers 
had for all time inscribed their names on the history of 
the siege, the Boers had been beaten off. But, at last, the 
nervousness had bitten too deeply to be lessened, even 
by such news, and such heroism. From now onwards 
the references to Ladysmith always betrayed a gloomy 
undercurrent of belief that the town must fall, and that 
we had better make up our minds to the fact. 1 The two 
other places, the beleaguering of which had not appeared 
so very important while our armies still seemed to be on 
the move, shared now in the strained national attention. 
Ladysmith, Kimberley and Maf eking came to stand for 
all the hopes and the confidence that had formerly been 
given to the armies. Kimberley, whither Mr Rhodes had 
gone just as the war broke out, was a place of some 
importance especially, to the Boers, when he was in it 
and its siege was a normal piece of warfare. It was the 
1 See The Times , i6th January 1900. 


gate on that side of the Free State for invasion. The 
case of Maf eking, however, was different. Situated far in 
the north, and not occupied by any body of troops con- 
siderable enough to require isolation, the town might 
apparently have been let alone. The story of Mafeking 
appears to be a story of unadulterated combativeness. 
The Boers decided to fight there, and in the town was a 
man delighted to oblige them, Colonel Baden-Powell. 
Neither side had anything strategic to gain. 

But all three places became equally important now to 
English feeling ; worn nerves needed focussing points of 
some kind to work at. Early in January there were signs 
that dissatisfaction with the Government was gathering 
to a head ; and the news of another costly action fought 
by Buller, without a step gained towards Ladysmith, 
produced an explosion of bitterness. Starting from his 
base on 10th January Buller had crossed the Tugela at two 
points a considerable distance west of Colenso, taking a 
week for the operations, and on the 23rd part of his force 
had captured, by the severest fighting, a hill called Spion 
Kop, from which it appeared that the Boer trenches could 
be completely commanded. But owing to the disposition 
of the ground our artillery were unable to master the Boer 
artillery turned upon the hill-top ; and after a murderous 
day in which men, forced by the small compass of the hill- 
top to lie in close formation, had been cruelly battered by 
Boer guns, the ground so expensively won was abandoned, 
and by the 27th Buller was back again on the south side 
of the river. The deliberate strategy of this battle, the 
splendid gallantry of the assault, the great news that at 
last we held a position actually commanding the terrible 
Boer lines, had been so cheering that the announcement 
of the withdrawal strained the tension in England beyond 
breaking point. The Government were roundly told that 
they had muddled from beginning to end ; Mr Balf our was 
warned that his attitude under criticism was far too jaunty 


and frivolous ; the war had been a series of calamitous 
mistakes, relieved only by the courage and endurance of 
officers and men ; and the result was that we stood without 
a plan of campaign. 1 Parliament met on 80th January, 
and although there may not have been much sympathy 
with extreme Liberal opinion against the war, the an- 
nouncement that a vote of censure would be moved by the 
Opposition leaders was certainly not regarded as a mere 
hampering of the Government. Ugly things were being 
said already of the War Office contracts, and stories were 
coming to England of the miserable quality of many of 
the contract supplies, of dangerous rations, of wretched 
forage ; even the ammunition was not above criticism. By 
the beginning of March it was becoming clear that in this 
matter too the grossest incompetence had been revealed ; 
and such serious instances were brought forward in the 
House of Commons that a Select Committee was appointed. 
The Government had certain consolations to fall back upon. 
The unexampled trade prosperity of the past year 2 was 
a great asset ; the revenue returns were very good, customs 
being up by 660,000 and excise by over 1,000,000, with 
one quarter of the financial year yet to run ; and the 
Chancellor of the Exchequer was evidently going to have 
a larger surplus than he had expected. Little legislation 
was proposed in the Speech from the Throne ; a measure 
for reforming company law and a Moneylenders Bill were 
the only items of any importance. 

Meanwhile Lord Roberts and Lord Kitchener had been 
assembling a considerable force at the Modder River, 
combining new arrivals with the existing army under 
Methuen. But their preparations were being made with 
new secrecy, and no word of them came through to soothe 
English irritation. A third movement by Buller, develop- 
ing into the capture, under cover of a bombardment, 

1 The Times , 27th January 1900.- 
1 See p. 13. 


startling even in this war, of Vaalkranz Hill, and ending 
once again in withdrawal, was received with exasperation. 
The losses this time had been lighter a casualty list of 250, 
as against the lamentable 1500 of Spion Kop ; but the 
popular nicknaming of Buller as " the Bull-dog " began 
to assume a rueful twist under this series of exhibitions 
of doggedness. A good many generals in South Africa 
paid heavily, less for mistakes of their own than for the 
all-pervading original mistake as to the task set us by this 
war. The battle of Vaalkranz took popular attention at 
the moment of Lord Roberts's first movement, and little 
heed was paid to the advance of the Highland Brigade 
towards the extreme right of the Boer position at Magers- 
fontein. So the excitement a few days later was all the 
more keen, when England suddenly became aware that, 
the watchfulness of the Boers having thus been drawn 
towards their right, a large body of cavalry, some 
5000 in number, had ridden hard round their left, 
crossed the Modder twenty-five miles east of Magers- 
fontein, and practically galloped past the only attempt 
made to stop it. Almost before England had had time to 
take in what had happened the mustering of this flying 
force in the rear of Methuen's army, and its launching 
under the man who was henceforth to be a popular idol 
as a dashing cavalryman, General French the news 
came that, covering 100 miles in four days, this swift 
march had raised the siege of Kimberley. Lord Roberts 
had got to work. Indeed his great name seemed to act 
like a charm. On the very day when Kimberley was 
relieved, his infantry appeared in force on the extreme 
left of the Boer lines, capturing as they went Jacobsdal 
(where the City Imperial Volunteers were for the first time 
in action) ; and the grim Cronje, alarmed for his com- 
munications with his base at Bloemfontein, had hurriedly 
abandoned his position; the awful trenches of Magers- 
fontein no longer loomed over us. Now ensued the most 


tense period of the war. Cronje managed to pass the outer 
horn of Roberts's force ; but if he were to reach Bloem- 
fontein he must cross the Modder River, and there were 
but three drifts available to him. Roberts held Klip 
Drift already. French, hastening across from Kimberley, 
seized Wolveskraal Drift. Cronje turned to Paardeberg 
Drift, between the two and the vice closed on him. He 
lay in laager, and on 18th February Kitchener attacked 
him. It was a heavy battle, with 1100 casualties ; but 
it pinned Cronje into a narrow space of two miles, clinging 
to his waggons. So great was the change of spirit caused 
at home that, when Buller now started again from camp, 
it almost seemed as if the renewed confidence reaching out 
to his men from England had infected them. He com- 
pletely changed his line of attack, going this time to the 
extreme eastward of the Colenso position, captured 
Hlangwane Hill, and, planting his guns there, sent his Irish 
Brigade, under General Fitzroy Hart, against the left-hand 
hills of the Boer line. The furious assault of the brigade 
was checked, but it lay obstinately on the sides of the hill, 
while Buller behind it moved the rest of his army still 
further east, lapping round the lines of Pieter's Hill. At the 
critical moment of his operations, England woke one day 
to the news that, after another attack on Cronje's laager, 
in which the Canadians, leading the van with the Gordons, 
had pushed a handful of men into a position enfilading the 
Boer trenches, Cronje had surrendered unconditionally, 
and between 4000 and 5000 prisoners had been taken 
at a blow. On the top of the exultation came the 
complete success of Buller. It had been another hard 
fight ; the Colenso trenches had not been hurriedly 
deserted at the last, as the Magersfontein trenches had 
been ; the casualty list reached 1600. But no more 
remained to do here, though at the moment this could 
hardly be believed by the army. Lord Dundonald, 
venturing greatly, took a couple of squadrons of South 


African light horsemen cautiously forward. Hardly a 
shot was fired upon them, and in the evening of 28th 
February the Lady smith siege was over, and the garrison 

A couple of days had changed the whole aspect of the 
war. A note from the Presidents of the two Boer republics 
to the Prime Minister, suggesting that, now British prestige 
was restored, peace terms might be discussed, was brushed 
aside as beneath consideration, save as a sign of conscious- 
ness of defeat. For the note still spoke of the republics 
as " sovereign international states." Bellicose temper 
rose again hotly, and the war spirit, which had been purged 
of some of its more vulgar elements during the weeks of 
depression, became again pervaded with boastfulness. 
Yet on the whole the nation had cause for pride in the 
story of the Ladysmith siege. It had been a cruel one. 
Incessant bombardment and enteric fever had literally 
decimated the men, without breaking their courage. 
Officers who could ill be spared had fallen ; a month before 
the end of the siege one of the best known of the war 
correspondents, G. W. Steevens, who had made more than 
a passing reputation for himself in literature, had died. 
Now that the whole story was coming out, it was gratifying 
to find that here, at least, organisation had been good, the 
commissariat as well managed as it could possibly have 
been, and the defences flawless. Of the Kimberley siege 
much also was reported of the most gallant kind ; lack of 
guns had been remedied by the ingenuity of the diamond- 
mine engineers, who constructed a piece of artillery ; but 
here again bombardment had been terrific, and as no naval 
gun had opportunely arrived in Kimberley, the largest 
Boer artillery had been out of our range. But unfortun- 
ately the Kimberley story had less gratifying chapters. 
Mr Rhodes, who came to England in April, published 
opinions bitterly criticising Colonel Kekewich, who had 
been in command ; and there were evidences of quarrels 


in the town during the siege. MeanwhiJe the third siege 
upon which English eyes had turned early in the year, 
that of Maf eking, was providing extraordinary and even 
hilarious news. Colonel Baden-Powell was holding out, 
not only with courage, but with inextinguishable high 

Early in March Queen Victoria drove through London, 
facing the fatigue in order that her people's new sense of 
relief and hope might be provided with an outlet. On 
17th March, St Patrick's Day, there was a general wearing 
of the shamrock, in recognition of the gallantry of Irish 
regiments ; and it was announced later on that royal 
recognition was to be accorded in the raising of a regiment 
of Irish Guards, to be added to the Household Brigade. 
The wearing of the shamrock was a curious sign of a 
tendency now at work to express, not merely the feeling of 
patriotism, but patriotic demonstrations en masse. The 
Irish regiments had certainly been gallant ; but not more 
so, when all was said, than the Highlanders, the Lancashire 
men who fought Spion Kop, the west-country men in 
Ladysmith. The mere chance that Ireland happened to 
have a special day of festival at the moment, however, 
served the purpose of this new spirit of acting in crowds. 
The habit continued to distort values during the war r 
for often the prominence of this or that event depended 
on its hitting or missing some popular impulse. 

A few days after the Paardeberg surrender, every detail 
of which was eagerly welcomed in London, with the central 
picture of the overweening Cronje himself at last made 
visible a sullen, bearded, thick-set man in a slouch hat, 
riding in to his submission Lord Roberts moved towards 
Bloemfontein. Two battles were fought on the way, at 
Poplar Grove and Brief ontein ; but victory was in the air, 
and Bloemfontein was occupied on 13th March. Every- 
one rejoiced in the prospect of rest for men and horses 
after the hard and glorious work of the past fortnight. 


What yet remained to do was looked at in a new spirit. 
The Free State Government had gone north to Kronstadt, 
and the east of the Free State was still alive with the 
enemy ; but doubt of our powers had ceased to gnaw us. 
Confidence was indeed so extraordinarily restored that it 
became positively volatile ; a few weeks after this Lord 
Milner had to telegraph from Cape Town to urge the authori- 
ties at home to stop a constantly increasing stream of 
tourists. A war loan of thirty-five millions was readily 
taken up in March. Bearing interest at 2| per cent., 
the loan had been issued at 98, and was subscribed eleven 
times over. The Budget which followed was, of course, 
largely a nullity, owing to the borrowings for the war. 
But it provided a good basis, the revenue being eight and 
a half millions above the estimate, and eleven and a half 
millions above the previous year's revenue. True, some 
of this was a fictitious increase. Customs and excise each 
accounted for an increase of nearly three millions ; and 
much of this was undoubtedly due to premature clearances, 
since it was evident that new taxation was bound to be 
imposed. Consequently the present fattening of the 
revenue only meant a shrinkage in the next year, and 
a partial defeat of the war taxation. But next year was 
a long way oft ; no one, whatever his position, imagined 
for a moment in the existing circumstances that we should 
have any considerable force in the field twelve months 
hence ; and so the next Budget, though it would have 
to carry some burden of the past, would not have to be a 
War Budget. In one respect the present revenue returns 
were a real windfall ; estate duty had come out at three 
millions over the estimate, largely owing to the death of 
" Chicago Smith," a millionaire who had lived obscurely 
in a London club, and was but little known to the public, 
until the death duties on his property brought 900,000 
into the Exchequer. For the coming year the Chancellor 
of the Exchequer put fivepence on to the income-tax, 


and by this and by enhanced duties on beer, spirits, 
tobacco and tea promised himself twelve millions. 

At the end of March and the beginning of April two 
occurrences in the Orange Free State chastened the over- 
sanguine. A force which had been operating east of 
Bloemfontein was ambuscaded in falling back on the 
town, the Boers lining a sunken watercourse in what 
appeared to be a harmless level plain. Cavalry and 
artillery rode unsuspectingly into the trap, and although 
the force was largely extricated, and conveyed across 
the river at another point, over 500 men and some 
thirty officers were on the casualty list, 300 prisoners had 
been taken, and no less than seven of the Horse Artillery 
guns. But the worst of this action at Sanaa's Post was 
that it lost us the Bloemfontein water-works, and the 
army had to make use of the wells, which resulted in a 
great increase of enteric fever. Another disaster followed, 
a force of General Gatacre's troops being surrounded and 
overborne by heat, thirst and lack of ammunition. The 
Boers took another 900 prisoners. Criticism was more on 
the alert now than in the early days. From this time on- 
wards there was a constant tendency to draw contrasts 
between English troops and Colonial troops, with a rather 
hysterical admiration of the latter and a peevish deprecia- 
tion of the former. The popular picture of the British 
officer represented him as enslaved to drill and method, 
unable to see beyond his nose ; that of the Australian, the 
New Zealander, the South African, the Canadian, repre- 
sented them as applying instinctively to war the methods 
of the tracker and the huntsman, scratching their rations 
out of nothing, and beating the Boer at his own game. 
There was some truth in the contrasts, though they were 
overdrawn ; it was forgotten, for instance, that Roberta's 
Horse, a body of South African colonials, had been in the 
Sanna's Post trap. Besides, it was obvious that British 
troops, not living in a land where they could learn the 


methods of the tracker and the huntsman, had had to 
buy their learning. Those numerous writers, headed by 
Mr Kipling, who found delight in pungent descriptions of 
British stupidity set off by Colonial craftiness, have per- 
haps never realised one lasting effect of their indulgence 
in these descriptions. The British public had instilled 
into it a sense that its lords and masters, as represented 
by its military officers, were neither brilliant nor men of 
common-sense, but dull courageous creatures of routine. 
It is not possible to say one thing violently at one moment, 
when your eye is on a single consideration, and prevent 
readers from gradually, even unconsciously, extending the 
application of what you say. The great reaction against 
the Conservatives in the general election of 1906, and the 
undermining of the landlord class, can certainly be traced 
in some measure to the views Mr Kipling and his followers 
expressed about " regrettable incidents " of the South 
African War. 

By the month of May the Government was under a 
storm of criticism. The publication of the despatches on 
the Spion Kop engagement had drawn the attack. For 
one thing, it appeared that General Buller had been 
asked by the Secretary for War to rewrite his despatches 
before publication, and had declined. He had blamed 
Sir Charles Warren, and the despatches throughout gave 
evidence of a certain lack of harmony. But the Govern- 
ment's request suggested that, on its part, it had a bad 
conscience, and wished to avoid " revelations." As a 
consequence, every item of the management of the war 
was now called in question, and lack of common foresight 
was charged against ministers in every department con- 
cerned. On one point they had at the moment a fair 
answer to give ; Sir William MacCormac and Mr Treves 
had just returned from an inspection of the hospitals in 
South Africa, and had said that, whatever else might be 
wrong, the hospital and medical service was excellent. Mr 


Treves complained only, in a phrase that became famous, 
of " a plague of flies and a plague of women," the latter 
being half-trained, or even untrained, women who had 
managed to be sent out as nurses with various volunteer 
hospital corps, enrolled with more enthusiasm than judg- 
ment. But even this bright spot did not serve the 
Government long. These two surgeons might be great 
men ; but the newspapers had had to replace the appal- 
lingly long casualty lists, happily things of the past, with 
extremely disturbing lists of cases of disease. This was 
evidence which rather undermined the rosy report ; and 
in June the Government was being attacked for want of 
foresight and provision in this department no less than in 
the others. Mr Burdett-Coutts, who had spent some 
time in South Africa investigating the subject as special 
correspondent of The Times, wrote letters to that paper 
indicting the Government for insufficient staffing and 
equipment of the medical service ; the field hospitals were 
all overworked, and there was no staff to spare for safe- 
guarding the army by even the most elementary sanitary 
supervision. With considerable courage in the face of 
the anger and contemptuous speeches of his leaders in 
the House of Commons, where he sat as a Conservative 
member, Mr Burdett-Coutts continued his attack in that 
House, bringing out especially the fact that by the very 
nature of the service the men of the Army Medical Corps 
grew steadily out of touch with modern hospital practice 
and modern theories of health and sanitation. In the 
end he succeeded in securing the appointment of a Select 

Yet all this criticism was not to be interpreted as a 
general change of mind on the subject of the war. A 
South Africa Conciliation Committee, which was founded 
with the object of securing at the earliest possible moment 
a cessation of hostilities, had much unpopularity to face. 
It was urging now that, as the Boers had been beaten 


heavily at last, and driven not only from our colonies, 
but from some of their own territory, England might 
offer peace on condition that the Boer States disarmed, 
and surrendered all claim to control of their own foreign 
relations ; at the same time the Rand might be separated 
from the Transvaal, as the Diamond Fields had been 
separated from the Orange Free State. It was doubtful, 
to begin with, whether the Boers in the field would agree 
to such terms. Recent events had shown that they were 
still full of fight, and by no means overawed. At any 
rate, the war spirit in England would not hear of such 
suggestions. The less firmly established Liberal papers 
found salvation in them. Under the pressure of competi- 
tion two Liberal penny papers, The Daily News and The 
Daily Chronicle, had first of all reduced their price to a 
halfpenny, and then, finding themselves still hard pressed, 
had largely waived their opposition to the war. It 
required deep conviction and a rich and courageous 
proprietorship to maintain, in the face of popular opinion, 
that the war need never have taken place. " Pro-Boer " 
was an ugly label, very readily attached. In Great Britain 
only three prominent newspapers stood unflinchingly 
by opposition to war, The Manchester Guardian, The 
Morning Leader and The Star. The Daily Chronicle 
practically went with the popular tide ; The Daily News 
clutched at the programme of the Conciliation Committee, 
and so just saved its Liberalism. The newspapers which 
held out unyielding against the war clamour owed their 
survival to the fact that each had made itself more or less 
indispensable to a particular public. The Manchester 
Guardian had built up a service of commercial news which 
the cotton trade could not dispense with. The morning 
trains and trams in Lancashire were full of men who ex- 
pressed their attitude by crumpling the paper into a ball 
and throwing it away ostentatiously, when they had read 
the telegrams from New York, Galveston and New Orleans. 


The Morning Leader and The Star had made for themselves 
a position as the workman's newspapers ; and it was some 
time before the workman got out of his habit of so regard- 
ing them. They had nothing to gain by their policy, for 
the workmen as a whole did not in the matter of the war 
adhere to Radicalism. Denunciations of the war as a 
capitalist war, as a spending of the common soldiers' blood 
and a diversion of the country's resources for the object 
of securing the gold companies on the Rand, had not suc- 
ceeded in keeping organised Labour aloof from the rest of 
the community. At the Trade Union Congress later in 
the year there were bitter comments on the easy jingoism 
of the workman, and his readiness to share in breaking up 
peace meetings. At the same time it must be said that, 
on the death of a Liberal member of Parliament for Ports- 
mouth in April, the seat was held successfully by the 
Liberal candidate. Liberalism had not yet passed into 
its most unpopular period. It was neither attacking, 
nor being attacked, with the sharpness that developed 
later on, as the result of changed conditions in the 

The kind of feeling which might, in clever hands, be 
turned heavily against any sort of criticism of the war 
became manifest one night in May. In that month there 
were two great popular demonstrations. The first, which 
revealed no special cause for comment, was on the return 
of the naval brigade which had served in Ladysmith 
through the siege. Sir George White had just come home, 
and had been the honoured guest of the Queen at Windsor ; 
but he had avoided hero-worship ; and it all fell upon the 
sailors when they appeared in London, dragging some of 
the famous guns of the siege, and marched to lunch at the 
Admiralty and on through the City to tea at Lloyd's. 
Immense crowds gathered, but the day left no after- 
thoughts as to their behaviour. It was otherwise with the 
second demonstration, which added to the language a word 


not of wholly satisfactory content. On 18th May the news 
of the relief of Maf eking reached London, and though it 
arrived late in the evening it spread everywhere. The 
result was amazing ; an uninformed stranger might have 
thought that the whole war had depended on this news. 
Although the announcement was not made until nine 
o'clock at night an enormous crowd was soon parading 
the principal streets of the City and the West End. There 
had, indeed, been some expectation of the news, and 
for several nights many people had lingered near the War 
Office, the Mansion House, and the newspaper offices in 
Fleet Street, on the chance of an announcement. But 
when it was made the crowd swelled as if by magic. The 
extraordinary thing was that here was no celebration of a 
day arranged in advance, so that people might be expected 
to come in from the suburbs. The masses of people 
appeared to spring from the pavements. Within half-an- 
hour the great space before the Mansion House was packed 
solid, Fleet Street, the Strand and Pall Mall, Regent 
Street, Piccadilly and Oxford Circus were black with 
torrents of humanity, in which the wheeled traffic gave 
up any attempt to move. At every theatre and music 
hall the news was announced from the stage ; at the 
Lyceum even Madame Duse's spell was broken to allow 
the reading of the telegram, and the singing of " God 
Save the Queen." Out in the suburbs early sleepers were 
awakened by outbursts of cheers ; men came down by 
train from the seething centre of London, and rode off 
in cabs, shouting the news along the quiet roads of villas. 
Liverpool was alive with parading crowds ; Newcastle was 
startled by the explosion and flare of rockets ; Birming- 
ham spread the news like wildfire from its theatres ; the 
brass band of the volunteers roused the streets of York ; 
Glasgow illuminated its municipal buildings ; Leicester 
and Brighton swarmed with madly cheering people, the 
Yorkshire dales reverberated with the sound of strangely 


blown mill and factory sirens. The next day was a 
Saturday, and no one pretended to do even the customary 
half -day's work. 

The spontaneity of the demonstrations could hardly 
be denied ; they took every reflective person by surprise. 
But it was not altogether satisfactory surprise. People 
began to ask themselves, and continued to ask for some 
time, whether the British character was revealing in such 
demonstrations signs of profound change, whether we 
were growing unbalanced, whether, now that there had 
been symptoms of hysteria in rejoicing, we ought not to 
confess that there had been some hysteria in our depression 
at the end of the past year. In short, if we showed lack of 
self-control, were we ceasing to be capable of rule ? Were 
we pursuing this war in the real determination of a con- 
quering race, or were we deceiving ourselves with a merely 
spasmodic imitation of it, derived from alternations of 
wounded and gratified pride ? The real change was 
probably less in the popular manifestations of feeling 
than in the Imperial self-consciousness thus opposed to 
them. The nation revealed hi Gillray's cartoons of the 
Napoleonic period, the nation which wrapped itself in the 
splendour of Alma and Balaclava while it left to a single 
woman the care of its wounded and to a single newspaper 
correspondent decent foresight for the strength and health 
of men in the trenches, was after all much the same 
impressionable, stupid, successful nation which was now 
under diagnosis. The habit of quick and easy communica- 
tion made its qualities appear more intensely ; but that was 
all. On the other hand it had never dawned upon Gillray 
that we were a nation of masters. The Imperial spirit, 
which the commentators on Mafeking night perceived 
as dimly threatened by such unbridled enthusiasm, was a 
modern invention. In so far as it had any real existence 
as a corporate emotion, it was probably more unhealthy 
than the " mafficking " spirit, which, so far as there is any 


genuine Psychology of Crowds, presented perfectly normal 

" Mafficking " went on for some days. The street 
hawkers, by the alertness of the Jews who supply their 
stock-in-trade, helped to maintain it by providing the 
drifting groups in the streets of an evening with peacocks' 
feathers, " squeakers," little flags, and other such trophies. 
Why the relief of Mafeking, more than that of Ladysmith, 
more than the success at Paardeberg or the occupation 
of Bloemfontein, should have let loose all this hilarity, it 
would be difficult to say. For one thing, it was a neat 
rounding-off of the picture which the ordinary public 
had drawn for itself of the task before us ; it appeared 
to complete the happier turn of the tide. Secondly, it 
coincided with what already looked like a triumphant close 
to the whole second chapter of the war ; Lord Roberts 
had started north from Bloemfontein on 10th May, had 
driven the Boers from Kronstadt on 12th May, and we 
knew that the advance to Pretoria had begun. Methuen 
was moving up from the west, after a neat little engagement 
in which some of his volunteer mounted infantry had 
captured near Boshof a small Boer commando under a 
French colonel, de Villebois Mareuil, who was killed ; 
Buller was moving up the narrow northern neck of Natal, 
driving Boers from one position after another by out- 
flanking movements. Third, and by no means least, the 
defence of Mafeking was exactly of the kind to stir the 
ordinary man's blood ; and it may have been obscurely 
felt that we owed some singular meed of appreciation to a 
defence which our main military dispositions had appeared 
rather to leave to look after itself. There was gallantry 
in all that England heard of the story. Colonel Baden- 
Powell had not only managed with wonderful economy 
and resourcefulness the fighting force of the town (here, 
more wonderfully than at Kimberley, since the materials 
were far poorer, a large gun had been constructed, and 


shells made for it) ; but he had organised dances and 
cricket matches, sung at concerts, and descended at other 
intervals from his watch-tower to go scouting by night 
towards the Boer lines with a craft learned in earlier years 
from the Zulus and the Matabele. Lastly, the defence of 
Mafeking had this special appeal to the imagination 
that it was, so to speak, almost an impromptu civilian 
defence, and therefore might be taken to prove that 
muddling or inefficiency hi high places was not symptom- 
atic of a general decay. There was penetration in the 
comments of The Times, which offered, as one explanation 
of the amazing expression of popular emotion, that " it 
was instinctively felt that at Mafeking we have the 
common man of the Empire, the fundamental stuff of 
which it is built, with his back to the wall . . . and at the 
long last coming out, proud, tenacious, unconquered, 
and unconquerable," a glimpse of " the fundamental grit 
of the breed." * At the very last the defence had covered 
itself with glory. An attack delivered by the Boers pene- 
trated well into the town, but was so neatly and swiftly 
answered that the attackers, cut off from then* supports 
and pinned for a whole day to the dangerous ground 
they had gained, surrendered in the end, a batch of 120 
prisoners. If, as has been said, neither side had any- 
thing strategic to gain at Mafeking, the stout defence 
had for seven months kept 2000 of the enemy and one 
of their big Creusot guns from reinforcing the Boers 

The Mafeking celebrations should probably have caused 
less concern to the acute observer inclined to be critical 
than the subsequent slackening of interest in the war. 
Lord Roberts, rendering various Boer positions untenable 
by means of wide turning movements, crossed the Vaal 
River on 27th May and, hardly delayed by the action of 
Doornkop, was at Johannesburg on 80th May. On the 

1 The Times, 2Oth May 1900. 


previous day he had issued the proclamation annexing 
the Orange Free State. Yet it is on record that the 
newspaper placards in London on the 30th were devoted 
to Epsom and not to Johannesburg. 1 This slackening 
of interest was surely a more serious sign of superficiality 
in the popular mind than the recent jubilations had been. 
The Boers were unable to stand at any point, it was known 
on 31st May that Kruger had fled from Pretoria, the mines 
of the Rand were safe ; and even writers usually judicious 
were saying that "threats of an obstinate guerilla war 
need not be regarded seriously." 2 Pretoria was occupied 
on 5th June, a mere fringe of Boer riflemen having to 
be swept away from before it, and a day later over 
3000 British prisoners had been released. But the 
effect of the sudden decline of interest (although of 
course the actual occupation of Pretoria had been 
acclaimed) was seen in the irritation and resentment 
aroused by news of continued fighting in what was now 
the Orange River Colony. Lord Roberts, deciding to 
move on Pretoria, had been quite conscious of the Boer 
forces left in the eastward portion of the colony. The 
public at home, tiring in its easy way of details, had not 
taken into account the true state of affairs ; and when it 
found that guerilla war after all had to be taken seriously 
it began to call for strong measures. Throughout the 
month of June, England learned by painful experience 
the name of another Boer leader, De Wet. Flying raids 
upon the railway, with constant cuttings of the line and 
blowing up of trains, sudden descents upon isolated 
bodies of troops and convoys on the march, had a double 
seriousness. They not only provided the elusive com- 
mandos with stores, ammunition and rifles ; but they en- 
couraged resistance elsewhere, and prevented the feeling 
that any district was really subdued. It began to be 

1 Sir Wemyss Reid, in The Nineteenth Century, July 1900. 

2 The Times, 313! May 1900. 


more than suspected that Boers who had given in their 
submission were swept again into the fighting ranks by 
the passing of De Wet's force ; and that farms ostensibly 
peaceful had their ways of working with De Wet, by 
giving him supplies and information, if not acting as 
real bases. For the moment Lord Roberts had work of 
his own on hand. The mam Boer forces under Louis 
Botha were too near Pretoria, lying about fifteen miles 
out at Pienaar's Poort. The British force was not the 
large one with which Roberts had first turned the tide 
of the war ; he had had to leave a brigade at Johannes- 
burg, and another on his line of communications, besides 
the troops he had left in the Orange River Colony operating 
under Methuen. But he succeeded in driving the Boers 
westward. Moving out from Pretoria on llth June, he 
sent French against the right and Hamilton against the 
left of the Boer position. The fighting was sharp, and the 
City Imperial Volunteers, who were part of Hamilton's 
force, had their mettle tested as severely as any troops 
during the war in the grim task of hanging on to the ridge 
of Diamond Hill. But in the end the Boers found their 
position untenable, and moved eastwards down the line, 
relieving the pressure on Pretoria. Then attention was 
turned more steadily to De Wet. He had fairly startled 
people in England by almost capturing Lord Kitchener 
in one of his raids. Driven back from the railway, he 
was operating in the Bethlehem region, north-east of 
Bloemfontein, when a combined sweeping movement 
against him was organised between the forces of Ian 
Hamilton, Hunter, Macdonald and Clements. As the 
cordon drew tight towards the Basutoland border, De 
Wet, leaving the main body of Boers, made a dash 
with some 1500 men, and got through the English 
lines. Troops were detached in hot pursuit, but failed 
to catch him. The sweeping movement, however, went 
on until, at the end of July, Commandant Prinsloo 


surrendered with about 4000 men. Although De Wet 
had escaped, these operations removed all possibility 
of danger to the Durban railway ; and this was im- 
portant, since it gave Lord Roberts in Pretoria a secure 
base for supplies twenty-four hours nearer to him than 
Cape Town. General Buller had before this passed, by 
a series of successful little engagements, the mountain 
barriers in the extreme north of Natal, and was in 
possession of Standerton, in the Transvaal, at the head 
of 20,000 men. 

Record of the national attitude towards the war has 
now to take a new direction. To the public mind the 
occupation of Bloemfontein and Pretoria and the formal 
annexation of the Orange Free State and the Transvaal 
meant a far stage in the last chapter of the war. When, 
in August, Lord Roberts, having at length rehorsed his 
mounted troops, began a large movement eastwards, 
the end seemed close at hand. Buller moved up from 
Standerton, pushing Boer forces before him ; Pole-Carew 
moved out along the Louren9O Marques line, and French 
moved parallel with him north of the line. Kruger, who 
had been living in a railway saloon carriage, ready to 
move instantly, at Machadodorp, fled across the frontier, 
after a few days' fighting around Machadodorp and 
Bergendal, at the beginning of September, had driven 
the Boers out of the strong positions there. Buller 
continued to push the disintegrated bands northward 
to Lydenburg, where he fought another battle on 8th 
September, still further disintegrating them. Hamilton 
and Pole-Carew drove other bands eastward, till, late in 
September, they had forced the fugitives across the 
frontier, had occupied Komatipoort, and had found 
there and at Hector Spruit, close by, the shattered re- 
mains of many of the treasured Boer guns, including 
three of the four big Creusots. The guns had been kept 
on the rail, to be hurried ever eastward as the pressure 


increased. That they had now been abandoned and 
destroyed was a notable sign. 

It was assumed in England that, by all the rules of such 
affairs, the war should now end. The Boer commanders, 
separated and driven from all important bases of opera- 
tions, should have seen, it was supposed, that no hope 
remained to them of regaining their country, and should 
therefore have surrendered. That they did not do so had 
the result of exasperating party spirit in England to a 
degree far beyond anything yet reached. On the one 
hand, the Conciliation Committee was urgent that, now 
the Boer republics were irrevocably annexed, we should 
not lay on ourselves the burden, and on the Boer people 
the humiliation, of driving the war to the point of absolute 
forcible submission to our arms ; but should endeavour 
to offer them some kind of future position in their old 
lands which might induce them to accept our supremacy. 
The idea of bargaining with them was inherent in this 
advice. On the other hand, the greater part of the nation, 
irritated that all was not over when the conditions were 
formally those of conquest, refused to offer a bargain at all. 
If the Boers thought, by holding out in then: difficult 
mountainous regions, and carrying on guerilla war, to 
weary us into waiving any part of the formal situation, 
they should learn that they were wrong. If they would 
not surrender by the rules, they should be not only 
vanquished, but thrashed. Hence proceeded a state of 
feeling which led to still further exasperation. Lord 
Roberts was urged to enter upon a course of much greater 
severity towards those suspected of helping the Boer 
forces after taking oaths of allegiance. It was held to 
be clear that men operating without bases of supplies 
or lines of communication must be drawing maintenance 
from farms nominally at peace with us. It was also held 
to be clear, from the comparative impunity with which 
the guerillas managed their raids, that they had sources 


of intelligence which could only be found in those same 
farms. Instances began to be known of rifles and 
ammunition found secreted in homes which had in their 
possession the passes given by British generals to Boers 
taking the oath. It was agreed that leniency to the 
farms was from every point of view a mistake, and would 
only prolong the war. During the autumn greater 
severity was in fact at work. Farms proved to be in 
co-operation with Boer forces in the field were burned. 
But this on the other hand roused the Conciliation Com- 
mittee to a more strenuous activity. This kind of punish- 
ment must always, they argued, be difficult to administer 
justly ; it must be watched jealously. And, on the 
broader lines, did not England see now on what a course 
the determination to beat the Boers to their knees had 
embarked her ? When the end came, we should have 
in South Africa not merely people whom we had beaten 
in war, but people rendered sullen by the destruction of 
homes and the desolation of their families. Controversy 
in England began to take an embittered tone. Those 
who were for the maintenance and the increase of strong 
measures chafed also under the obviously growing expense 
caused by the prolongation of war. Those who lamented 
the resolution to come to no terms with an enemy feared 
lest the exasperation of the other side might grow into a 
spirit almost savage. The struggle began, as the autumn 
drew on, to gather to itself all the normal opposition 
between political parties. Throughout the session 
Liberal opinion had shown no decided front. Even in 
late July, in a division following a debate on South 
Africa, only thirty-one Liberals had voted against the 
Government. Forty had voted with the Government, and 
the leader, Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman, with thirty- 
five more, had avoided voting at all. Radical views had 
their champion, not in the party leader, but in Mr Lloyd 
George, who, when the session was over, had made for 


himself the beginning of a new reputation as the most 
persistent and prominent in attacks upon Mr Chamberlain 
for his whole South African policy. But another effect 
of the close of the session was that speculation turned 
vigorously to the possibility of a dissolution of Parlia- 
ment. It had for some time been thought that Mr 
Chamberlain, true to his constant skill with electoral 
machinery, felt the moment ripe for a general election. 
If the war were to be prolonged, public opinion might 
revert too strongly to the recollection of the Government's 
original failures of foresight, and might revenge itself 
upon ministers by turning them out of office. But that 
would be most likely to happen if the dissolution were 
delayed until even a prolonged war must be over, or 
nearly over. At the moment the Government could urge 
that it required strength for the final effort, could appeal 
to the country to give it a firm basis from which to con- 
clude a nearly concluded task. But a year hence affairs 
might well be in a condition in which no such appeal 
could be made. It was believed that these views did not 
commend themselves to the rest of the Cabinet * ; but 
a certain tendency on Mr Chamberlain's part to over- 
colour his case had a campaigning appearance. This 
became more obvious after the House rose. The 
development of the farm-burning controversy was 
exactly what a Conservative party agent might have 
hoped for. Being, as it were, not a direct indictment 
of the whole origin of the war, but a distinct question of 
its continuance, it attracted those Liberals who had not 
been able to take the most outspoken view in the early 
days. Many more, who might still have hesitated, were 
driven into a defence of the Liberal position by Mr 
Chamberlain's round accusation of the Liberals as traitors. 
In rebutting that rather sweeping classification, Liberals 
were obliged to define their own position ; and as that 

1 Sir Wemyss Reid, in The Nineteenth Century, July 1900. 


involved criticism of what was going on, and to some 
extent of what had led to it, the whole affair became more 
and more a party question. The last stroke was the 
notorious " crystallising " of the position by a candidate 
named Wanklyn, in the phrase " a vote given to the 
Liberals is a vote given to the Boers." The Boer leaders 
still in the field were believed to be holding out mainly 
in the hope of intervention which would secure them 
some, conciliatory terms ; a delegation was in the 
United States in May, and Kruger was expected to come 
to Europe to appeal to the Continental powers. 

Parliament was dissolved on 25th September. A 
paucity of candidates on the Liberal side showed how 
deep exasperation had already gone. Within a fortnight 
the great boroughs had made it plain that the election 
was to be an abnormal one ; by 6th October the returns 
stood at 300 Unionists to 80 Liberals. The counties 
proved no safer ground for the Liberals, and by the end 
of the month, even Orkney turning Unionist, the new 
Parliament was complete, consisting of 402 Unionists, 
186 Liberals, and 82 Nationalists, a Unionist majority 
of 134. Scotland for the first time had returned more 
Unionists than Liberals (though the difference was only 
two) ; Wales remained stauncher to her traditions, and 
returned 22 more Liberals than Unionists ; for this Mr 
Lloyd George was largely responsible, and his reputation 
was now made. 

To the " Khaki Election," as it came to be called, 
neither side would look back a few years later with much 
pride. There were many Conservatives who disliked an 
appeal to the country in the midst of a war, felt it 
to be on the one hand an almost sentimental appeal for 
support, and on the other hand a not very sporting advan- 
tage taken of the Opposition. Moreover, it inevitably 
tended to a personal glorification of Mr Chamberlain ; 
and his methods, his wholesale branding of people honestly 


opposed to him, his crude excursions into international 
politics, 1 the somewhat dictatorial tone that crept even 
into his relations with the colonies were still too much the 
methods of his old Radical days to commend themselves 
to his new party. An election focussed on a war resulting 
from a policy he had directed must bring him within 
appreciable distance of the premiership ; and Conservatives 
shrank from that prospect. On the Liberal side the 
election meant a hopeless blurring of their position. 
Whatever they might wish to say in regard to milder 
counsels, and hastening the end of the war by conciliatory 
proposals, was swamped in the general charge against 
them of abetting the enemy. Liberal argument weakened 
into personal attacks on Mr Chamberlain, however 
little many individuals wished to take this line. Nor 
had there been among Liberals that unity of feeling and 
purpose which might have given them the consolation 
of a party, even if sadly diminished, at any rate more 
united than it had been for six years past. Some still 
attacked the war, root and branch ; some attacked only 
the recent developments ; others declined to criticise it 
at all. Although analysis of the polls after the election 
showed that, in spite of the large Conservative majority 
in the House, the country itself was not nearly so un- 
evenly divided, little could be deduced from this, because 
of the varying standpoints occupied by Liberal candidates. 
Hopes of conciliation seemed at the end of the year to 
be at low-water mark. All the efforts in that direction 
had apparently only strengthened the determination to 
reduce the Boers to absolute surrender. They had 
certainly roused against them a spirit which even the most 
convinced supporters of the war could not welcome. A 
roughness and violence crept into popular demonstrations, 
and was at its height when the return of the City Imperial 
Volunteers in October gave it an opportunity to reveal 
1 See page 70. 


itself. So enormous was the crowd in the streets, and 
so impatient of control, that it was four hours after the 
arrival of the regiment at Paddington before the last man 
had entered St Paul's for the thanksgiving service. The 
crowd in Ludgate Circus was so undisciplined that two 
people were crushed to death. Subsequent comments on 
" hooliganism " (then a new word) showed that there 
could be no shutting the eyes to extremely undesirable 
elements in the freshened war spirit. True, this could be 
in part attributed to lack of wisdom in the advocacy of 
conciliation. This same form of recrimination was not 
lacking in the House of Commons. Any criticism of the 
conduct of events in South Africa was denounced as 
" shameless accusation " of the troops in the field. 1 The 
Government may well have had no patience to spare. It 
was faced with another prospect of active war expenditure, 
and the revenue, as was inevitable in war time, was 
shrinking ; the returns for the first quarter of the new 
financial year showed a diminution (chiefly in customs and 
excise, owing to the large advance clearances 2 ) of one and 
a quarter millions. Industries were checked by the 
draining off of men, and by a rise in the price of coal. In 
the circumstances the necessity for more money was met 
by voting a comparatively small loan, one of sixteen 
millions, and endowing the Chancellor of the Exchequer 
with further borrowing powers not immediately put in 

A certain uneasiness in the Government, a desire to 
present the best aspect of their case, may be seen in the 
attempt at this time to make light of the remainder of the 
war. To help in producing the impression that for all 
practical purposes the war was over, they appointed Lord 
Roberts Commander-in-Chief at home, published a glowing 
tribute from him to his troops in South Africa, which had 

1 The Times, aoth December 1900. 
* See page 84? 


all the effect of winding up the serious business, and 
allowed him to hand over the command in the field to 
Lord Kitchener. Round Lord Roberts had gathered all 
the hope and confidence in the war ; his return could not 
but be taken to mean that little was left to do. General 
Buller had already come home, and was in England by 
the middle of November. Lord Roberts left Johannesburg 
for the homeward journey on 1st December. In their 
anxiety to keep criticism at bay, ministers rather over- 
reached themselves. A great thanksgiving service at St 
Paul's on the day of Lord Roberts's return had been 
arranged. But just before he reached England the War 
Office was compelled to cancel the arrangements. It 
was too obvious that the war was not ended. 

Certain incidents elsewhere probably fostered the hope 
that the scattered commandos would not hold out for 
long. If they were looking for intervention, it had become 
abundantly clear that they were looking in vain. On 
22nd November Kruger landed, a fugitive, at Marseilles. 
Rumour credited him with having come not unprovided 
with money to plead his cause. ,Yet his position was 
hardly for a week in doubt. He was known to base his 
hopes on Germany, from which country at the time of 
the Jameson Raid he had received a famous telegram 
expressing interest in the independence of his territory. 1 
For a day or two opinion in England wavered as to his 
chances in that direction. The Kaiser's visit to the Queen 
a year earlier could not be held to be altogether definitive 
as to his attitude, since the German Press had shown a 
steady bias against the war, expressed at times in strong 
language ; it was possible that the Kaiser might feel 
himself overborne "by the public opinion of his country. 
On 4th December all doubts were at an end, and it was 
known that he had refused to give Kruger an audience. 
The popular sympathy in France and Holland, with which 
1 See vol. i., p. 386! 


the exile had to be content, might be vexatious to England ; 
but the reflection that, as it carried no faintest possibility 
of a diversion of the course of events, it might, in a different 
way, be quite as vexatious to Kruger himself tended to 
square the account. 




IF, as seems to be certain, the dissolution of 1900 was 
largely forced upon his colleagues by Mr Chamberlain, 
it must in fairness be allowed that the promise of vic- 
tory in an election during the war was probably only one 
of the considerations in his mind. In the end, no doubt, it 
became the paramount one. But to a man of his energy, 
his ideas, and his capacity for work, the condition of the 
House of Commons in the session of 1900 must have offered 
a great temptation to sweep away this Parliament, and 
put another in its place. Inertia enveloped it ; and when 
the war obliterated all other concerns it grew even more 
inert. It took no interest in the small programme of 
work set before it ; the House was constantly counted out 
at an early hour of the evening. Parliamentary govern- 
ment seemed to have reached a state of collapse. There 
were some who discerned in this fact deeper and more 
lasting influences than that of the war. They recalled a 
warning from Disraeli that extension of the franchise must 
diminish the real power of Parliament, since the executive 
would come to rely less upon Parliament than upon the 
electorate ; the true centre of Government would shift to 
the Cabinet and the permanent departments. l But as in 
war the executive must always be more independent than 
in peace, any subtle or far-reaching explanations of the 
slackness of the Commons might be left on one side. Yet 
the fact remained that here was a House in a thoroughly 

1 See an article, by Mrs J. R. Green, in The Nineteenth Century, 
June 1900. 



unsatisfactory condition. It was true that there was no 
immediate danger to the Ministry. The complete change 
of fortune in the war meant that even strong criticism of 
the Government would not seriously shake its stability. 
The Opposition was fundamentally disorganised; and 
although at the beginning of the year the long-standing 
breach in the Irish party was healed, and Parnellites and 
Anti-Parnellites united once more as Irish Nationalists 
under the leadership of Mr John Redmond, they could not 
be formidable to the Government except in conjunction 
with a vigorous Liberal party. Moreover the Liberal 
leaders had in some cases so far recanted their alliance 
with the Irish that the likelihood of united action be- 
tween the two parties hardly needed to be taken into 
account 1 

But though for the present year the Government had 
no cause to be fearful, Mr Chamberlain was too far-sighted 
to be content. He could not but be aware that the ensuing 
year would present grave difficulties. A long-drawn, 
dragging tail to the war would strain the Exchequer and 
weary the national temper. At the same time blunders 
and shortcomings in the management of it, a hundred 
flaws in our administrative system revealed by the violent 
pressure of the war, would be charged upon a Government 
then no longer able to plead that it must be left unhampered 
on account of the peril of the moment. The existing 
Ministerial party could not be trusted, even in the face of 
a weak Opposition, to pull the Government through such 
a year as must lie ahead. Party dissensions of the kind 
that existed among the Liberals have a way of healing for 
some immediately profitable purpose. The obvious policy, 
therefore, was to dissolve, and provide against the diffi- 
culties by creating a new majority full of the enthusiasm 
of a fresh victory. Nor was this all. To pull through the 

1 See vol. i:, p. 349 ; ii.-, p. 12, and The Times, 7th February 


rest of the war, and the period of criticism and investiga- 
tion, would still leave the party rather meagrely provisioned 
for a future appeal to the country. There must be an 
energetic House ready to enter upon social legislation 
when the war and its accompaniments were past. Had 
not the opportunity arrived to make Liberal Unionism 
the equal colleague, and no longer the mere ally, of Con- 
servatism ? Hitherto, as we have seen, social legislation 
undertaken on that side had been, since 1886, liable to be 
regarded rather askance by Conservatives. * Was not the 
time, with Mr Chamberlain's personal predominance, ripe 
for putting an end to the comments that this or that social 
measure was part of the price paid by Lord Salisbury to 
Mr Chamberlain, and to make Liberal Unionism, with its 
programme of social change, an integral portion of a practi- 
cally new party, and not a mere section of a coalition ? 

Such motives as these may at any rate be taken into 
account in considering the dissolution. Slack and in- 
effective as the session was, two measures mentioned in the 
Queen's Speech were carried. The Moneylenders Act 
obliged the registration of names in which such businesses 
were carried on, and empowered judges to deal drastically 
with claims brought before them in which exorbitant 
interest was exacted. The Companies Act dealt with 
bogus qualification of directors, especially by the gift of 
paid-up shares (thus striking a blow at the " guinea-pig " 
director, who, on insufficient examination, lent a well- 
known name and so helped to decoy the public), and also 
prescribed the minimum amount of subscription of shares 
on which a board might proceed to allotment. A Housing 
of the Working Classes Act should also be mentioned ; it 
enabled local authorities to erect dwellings outside the area 
of their own jurisdiction, thus giving them the opportunity 
to build at less cost, and to avoid congestion. 2 

1 See vol. i., pp. 229, 41 1.- 
* See p. 36. 


Another piece of work during the session was the setting 
up of a Joint Committee on Municipal Trading. In this 
matter the House was acting slightly ahead of public 
opinion. There had been as yet no very widespread 
discussion of the subject ; only two hundred members 
voted on the motion to set up the committee. 1 But 
feeling, if not widespread, was strong on both sides. The 
immense field of capital placed at the disposal of munici- 
palities by the invention of the funded municipal debt had 
led to all sorts of enterprise on the part of the authorities 
of large and progressive towns. In consequence rates 
had risen, and thus there was an interested public 
backing for the arguments, whether of academic in- 
dividualists, or of private traders in such undertakings 
as electric light supply, tram companies, omnibus com- 
panies, etc., against the socialistic tendency inherent in 
the provision of such services by public authorities. At 
this moment, indeed, the socialists themselves were 
criticising municipal trading ; a socialist conference in 
Glasgow in April gave expression to the view that con- 
siderations of public health were falling into the back- 
ground, and too much attention being paid to services of 
convenience and remunerative undertakings ; the city in 
which they were meeting had an enormous debt, and some 
of its public provisions, such as its cheap dwellings, were 
a magnet to a rather worthless population. 2 Later in the 
year a Local Government Board report had something 
of the same kind to say : it called attention to cases of 
incompetence on the part of local authorities in matters 
of insanitary housing and polluted water-supplies, which 
had recently, for instance, caused the gravest outbreaks of 
disease at Camborne and Carnarvon. It happened also 
that in London the County Council had sustained a rebuff 
in the report of the London Water Commission, which, 

1 The figures were 141 for the motion, 67 against. 

2 The Times, aist April 1900. 


recommending the purchase of the undertakings of the vari- 
ous companies, and their union under a public authority, 
advised that this authority should not be the County 
Council, but a separate body, permanent and independent. 
If, however, the opposition to municipal trading had 
become more fundamental during the last fifteen years, 1 
such trading did not lack defenders ; and, though the 
House which discussed the matter was small, the debate 
was keen. 

Public interest was yet to be aroused. But a discussion 
at the Church Congress of this year reveals to what an 
extent municipal activity had stirred the conscience. 
Some of the clergy frankly confessed themselves in a 
dilemma; if they told the truth about all the housing 
scandals that came to their notice, their poorest people, 
in fear of being turned out of their dwellings by compulsory 
closing orders, would shut doors in their faces. Nor would 
local authorities, being dependent on popular election, 
dare to put in force all the powers they had. 2 There was 
naturally at this congress some discussion of the attitude 
of the Church towards the war. It must be said that no 
definite attitude was to be discerned. Religious views, 
like extreme democratic views, proved to have no peculiar 
power of keeping those who professed them recognisable 
by any marked classification. The truism that war was 
sometimes necessary as the price of peace, which provided 
the main shelter for the clergy, cannot be said to have done 
the Church much honour. The Free Churches endeavoured 
to maintain that Christianity was a gospel of peace rather 
more courageously than the Church of England ; but in 
them also the war appeared to obscure general principles. 
It is more satisfactory, in the case of the Church of England, 
to turn to indications of a greater readiness to heal her 
own vexations. Three ritual prosecutions were pending 

1 See vol. i., p. 140. 

a The Times, 2nd October 1900. 


in the latter part of the year. But there was a growing 
desire to avoid such proceedings, and to leave extremists 
to consider their ways. The Bishop of London displayed 
his own belief in the possibilities of toleration by gathering 
at Fulham a Round Table Conference on the Doctrine of 
the Holy Communion and its expression in ritual. Men 
of such widely differing views as Lord Halifax and Dr 
Wace met thus at the same conference ; and, if no new 
formulas appeared, yet a sense emerged that men might 
differ peaceably ; and the practical effect was seen in the 
quiet stopping of the three prosecutions by the bishop's 

There occurred early in the year an event which called 
attention in England to the fact that the Anglican Church 
was not the only one to suffer from the pressure of modern 
thought towards expansion of its formularies. The death 
of Dr St George Mivart in April followed painfully soon 
upon the announcement that he had been forbidden the 
sacraments of the Roman Catholic Church. He was a 
great scientist, great enough to cross swords with Darwin 
on the subject of natural selection ; Dr Mivart maintained 
the opinion that human intelligence differed not merely 
in degree, but in kind, from the intelligence of other 
vertebrates. In certain articles published in The Nineteenth 
Century and The Fortnightly Review on " The Continuity 
of Catholicism," he was held by the Vatican to have pitted 
human reason against the authority of the Church, and he 
was therefore excommunicated. This may be said to have 
been the first occasion on which public opinion in this 
country was at all moved about those tendencies in the 
Roman Church which presently came to be classed as 
" modernist." The general view that it was rather 
shocking to see a man of notably good and earnest life 
debarred from the consolations of his Church had, no doubt, 
something sentimental in it. A good deal of that quality 
was rife in a year in which an American religious novel 


called In His Steps had a great vogue. It may be added 
here that the religious community furthest removed 
from any such tendency, the Unitarians, lost in January of 
this year a notable leader by the death of Dr Martineau. 
His intellectual power and clarity of ideals had won for him 
a following as passionately attached as an unbendingly 
logical body could permit. 

In the same month John Ruskin died. Burial in 
Westminster Abbey was offered, but his representatives 
declined it, and he was buried in his beloved Lake 
Country. At the moment it seemed that much for which 
he had contended so hotly, even so pugnaciously, was 
lost. Industrialism had created hideous towns all over 
England ; railways had scored the face of the country. 
The time had hardly yet come for perceiving that views of 
his which went deeper than the mere external aspects of 
commercialism were not lost. A few years later Liberalism, 
revived and strengthened, was putting into practice 
economic theories which, when Ruskin propounded them, 
were dismissed as even more impracticably idealist than 
his desire to stop destruction of scenery. He had pleaded 
so mightily for hills and valleys, for gardens and houses, 
over which the torrent of industrialism was pouring, that 
men had forgotten his pleadings for the people caught in the 
same torrent. He himself, aged and disappointed, could 
not detect the indications that the spirit of his protests 
was already at work in the new conditions. But there was 
a growing demand for some respect on the part of public 
authorities for canons of beauty in building. It could 
be discerned in this year, for instance, in the newspaper 
correspondence about the new road which was being 
driven from the Strand to Holborn. Holywell Street, 
Wych Street and the rookeries of Clare Market had been 
cleared in the course of the great street improvement 
undertaken by the London County Council. Here, said 
the critics, was a noble opportunity for street designing ; 


and the council was besought to lay down a general 
design, and stipulate that lessees of sites should adhere 
to it in their buildings. A favourite plan was that of Sir 
Frederick Bramwell, for building on the model of the 
Rows, at Chester, with covered arcades on the street 
level and on the first-floor level. In the same spirit the 
plans for a new Central Criminal Court were scrutinised ; 
nay, even the determination to demolish Newgate was 
called in question. Taste had swung so far from the mere 
appreciation of prettiness in architecture, current twenty 
years earlier, 1 that the grim solidity, the blank dignity, of the 
old prison were felt to be a possession. An opportunity 
for a more obvious prodding of official callousness to con- 
siderations of art was provided by the very narrow escape 
of the National Gallery in June. A fire broke out on pre- 
mises at the western end of the gallery, and people suddenly 
awoke to the fact that, not only was the gallery not isolated 
from buildings in ordinary use, with all the dangers of 
artificial light and heating, but that no supervision what- 
ever was exercised over those buildings ; a flimsy structure 
with a tarred-felt roof had actually been put upon the top 
of the house next to the gallery. Fortunately the stupidity 
was so flagrant that steps were at once taken to destroy 
adjoining buildings, and isolate the gallery. In two 
specific matters the year 1900 marked itself as belonging 
to a newtime in art. Firstly, the era of enormous prices for 
old masters was opening ; at the sale of the Peel heirlooms 
in May (the sequel to an interesting case which had tested 
the power of the law to permit the dispersal of heirlooms), 
two Vandyck portraits fetched 24,250. Secondly, at the 
exhibition of the New English Art Club, in April, the work 
of a new-comer, William Orpen, was the first-fruits of a 
group at the Slade School bringing afresh combativeness 
to bear upon the slow-moving British taste. Between 
these two movements, the incursion into the market 
1 See vol. i., p. 63. 


of certain wealthy Americans, who frankly, not pretend- 
ing to knowledge of art, aimed at the safety of old masters, 
and the strong backing of the young painters in England 
by a young generation of art critics the day of high 
prices for Royal Academicians was over. 

In other arts there was also a stirring of dry bones. 
Theatrical managers, long accustomed to the public's 
meek acceptance of their rather stale fare, were perturbed 
by signs of impatience hi gallery and pit. The newspapers 
late in the year contained long discussions on the propriety 
or impropriety of " booing " plays. Certainly there must 
have been a new kind of theatrical public when Mr Bernard 
Shaw could have a play staged in the ordinary course of 
commercial speculation ; You Never Can Tell was produced 
hi May. The dancing of Miss Isadora Duncan, on the other 
hand, though very favourably noticed, was rather ahead 
of its time. She appeared in London hi March ; but 
there was no real interest in dancing as an art, and she 
did not aim at the sensational. 

It is interesting that a year in which so much of the 
nation's energy and attention was concentrated on South 
Africa should show fewer dull moments than many years 
in which there was no such distraction. Thus the failure 
of interest in Lord Roberts's position at Pretoria during 
the month of June was partly due to the sudden develop- 
ment of an alarming situation in China. Some kind of 
popular rising, very imperfectly understood, but clearly in- 
volving danger to foreign residents, had spread with such 
rapidity that Pekin itself was threatened. The rebels were 
known by a name translated into English as " the Boxers," 
and their hostility to the Government in China seemed 
to be a popular expression of resentment of the recent 
acquisitions of Chinese territory by European powers after 
the war between China and Japan. 1 It was suspected 
of being less distressing to the Chinese authorities- than a 

1 See p. 47. 


popular rising should have been. By the beginning of 
July the alarm was in full blast. The German minister 
to China had been killed ; and the European population 
in Pekin was concentrated in the houses and grounds of 
three legations, which were under siege. It was hardly 
hoped that against a horde of Chinese the legations, 
walled enclosures though they were, could long be defended. 
News was extremely difficult to obtain, and such rumours 
as came through were of the gloomiest. It was persistently 
reported that all Europeans in Pekin had been massacred ; 
and at last, on 16th July, The Daily Mail published a 
telegram giving in some detail an account of the fall of 
the legations, and the slaughter of the defenders. Luckily 
the prevalence of rumours before this caused some suspen- 
sion of judgment about the telegram. Its details had a 
certain precision, but after all it did not come from any 
source closer to Pekin than that of the other rumours. 
Hope, therefore, revived again. Meanwhile from the 
European fleets in the China Seas an allied force had 
been hastily put together, and marched upon Pekin. It 
met with little actual resistance, and on 19th August it 
formally occupied Pekin, the Chinese Court fleeing inland 
to the mountains. The Europeans who had found refuge 
in the besieged legations were alive, though they had 
passed days of the severest trial of their fortitude. Thus 
European eyes looked at last on the famous Imperial City, 
its palaces and immense walled domains ; and a complete 
era seemed to close at the tramp of European feet 
upon that long-forbidden ground. In the days of alarm 
a great deal of agitated opinion had foreseen the whole 
Chinese race descending upon Europe, and the thought 
that it numbered four hundred millions of human beings 
became a nightmare. The German Emperor, who had 
already expressed himself somewhat picturesquely on the 
exaction of retribution for murder of his subjects in China, 1 
1 See vol. i., p. 430. 


now lent himself to the agitation about "The Yellow 
Peril " by painting a picture, reproduced far and wide, 
in which allegorical figures of the European powers, 
headed by Germany, cross in hand, confronted a heavy 
cloud advancing from the East, in the murky folds of 
which was a savage Chinese visage of colossal size. 

The Londoner this year was provided with a novelty 
to which he took readily, perceiving it to be the forerunner 
of great changes in his methods of locomotion. It was 
a new underground railway, worked by electricity, clean, 
free of all steam and smoke, and swift. But it had 
other aspects which endeared it to a people fond of being 
managed and saved trouble. The old ticket system was 
to be replaced by a system of paying the same fare, two- 
pence, however far you wanted to ride. Thus there was 
no need to keep a ticket to be given up at the journey's 
end. As soon as you bought it, you passed a barrier 
where you gave it up ; and then you were dropped in a 
lift, shot through a tunnel in long pleasant carriages not 
divided into compartments, and carried up again in a lift 
wherever you wished to be disgorged. The rapidity with 
which " the twopenny tube " received its nickname 
demonstrated its popularity. Meanwhile the motor car 
which was in the end to revolutionise omnibus traffic, and 
so save Londoners from becoming a race as devoted to 
burrows as rabbits, was still making headway against 
prejudice. It was less obviously a subject for jesting, but 
cars were made in queer, blunt shapes, due to the domin- 
ance of old ideas of a carriage, and the failure to arrive 
at lines which should express the new vehicle's power and 
ease. The extraordinary survival of prejudice had been 
seen in the previous year, when Mr Scott Montagu, 1 one 
of the staunch pioneers of motoring, was forbidden by the 
police on duty in New Palace Yard to enter the precincts 
of the House in a car. Motor cycles were a novelty at the 
1 Now Lord Montagu of Beaulieu. 


cycle show in 1899, and in 1900 a thousand miles' trial 
of the new machines advertised their soundness and 

Another striking advertisement was that'of the astonish- 
ing power of turbine marine engines. 1 A torpedo-boat 
destroyer, the Viper, had been equipped with them ; and 
on a three hours' steaming trial she had made the unheard- 
of mean speed of 33| knots an hour. 2 

Even archaeology entered into the moving current of 
the year. Mr Arthur Evans and Mr D. G. Hogarth had 
been excavating in Crete ; and what they had discovered 
already was enough to cause them to issue a special appeal 
for funds, and to rouse unusual interest. They found 
themselves on the tracks of a very early civilisation, which 
seemed likely to prove the link between that of Greece 
and those of Asia and Egypt. But as yet learned opinion 
concluded that discovery of the palace of King Minos 3 him- 
self could not be hoped for. The excavators probably 
had a more shrewd idea of the marvels that were to come, 
and the near touch they were to establish not only with 
Minos, but even with the Minotaur. 

Towards the end of the year all the dissatisfaction with 
the conduct of the war, all the exposures of incompetence 
in this or that branch of the War Office, all the display 
of lack of cohesion and co-operation between the great 
departments of state, and all the discussion of the education 
and fitness for command of English officers, produced a 
sweeping outcry for efficiency in administration. There 
had long been scattered attempts, even before the war, 
to stir public opinion in this direction. Now far greater 
force had been given to the charge that we were being 
inefficiently governed ; and a platform was provided by 
the pages of The Nineteenth Century. The editor printed 

1 See p. 26. 

J The Times, 26th October 1900. 

3 Ibid., 5th November 1900. 


in very large type a proposal to found an Administrative 
Reform Association ; and was able to back his proposal 
with list after list of names of important people who lent 
their support to it. That the country's business should 
be conducted on ordinary business principles sounded 
a straightforward suggestion; a merchant whose enter- 
prises were as scramblingly undertaken as this war had 
been would land himself in the Bankruptcy Court in a 
month. The outcry cannot be said to have had any 
immediate effect. The new Cabinet after the general 
election showed no particular sense of a need for new 
methods. Its critics called it " a Cabinet of Common- 
place." l Lord Lansdowne, who had been Secretary for 
War, and so the target of incessant complaint, went to 
the Foreign Office in place of Lord Salisbury, and was 
pilloried in cartoons dressed in clothes much too big for 
him. Mr St John Brodrick went to the War Office in his 
place ; and there was irritated comment on this appoint- 
ment of a man who had made no distinct reputation to a 
department upon which the interest of the country was 
focussed. Lord Selborne at the Admiralty, like Lord 
Lansdowne at the Foreign Office, was destined to 
achieve good work ; but at the moment it did not 
seem to be an inspiring appointment. Worst of all, 
in the midst of a demand for business men, was the 
appointment of Mr Gerald Balfour to the Board of 
Trade ; a scholarly, cultured man, he can have had 
little sympathy, and less contact, with the trading 

The bitter astonishment at this last appointment is 
probably traceable in some measure to that uneasiness 
in the business world which had been so marked in 1899. 2 
With increasing competition in every market of the world, 
with engineering tenders from America cutting out our 

1 See The Fortnightly Review, December 1900. 
1 See p. 13. 


own contractors, 1 the business community was asking 
vehemently for help from more alert methods in the 
Government departments, for more information, more 
statistics. But, besides this general demand, there had 
been a special need this year for efficiency in the Board 
of Trade. In April the principal railway companies had 
announced that, owing to falling dividends, they intended 
to raise the rates for goods traffic, especially for coal ; and 
that the directors of the various boards had come to an 
agreement in the matter. Indignation at the announce- 
ment was enhanced by this glimpse of a sort of monopolist 
trust. Although the Railway Commissioners, whose 
sanction was necessary, disallowed most of the proposed 
increases the indignation did not altogether subside ; 
and when, in August, a serious strike occurred on the 
Taff Vale Railway the more serious because on the 
working of that line largely depended the supply of coal 
for the navy there was more than a little inclination to 
warn other railway directors that responsibility for strikes 
was to be found partly in the bad management of the 
lines. As it happened, this particular strike was not a 
good case, because the men made a bad mistake. The 
merits of the cause of the strike, which was dissatisfaction 
with the conditions of labour, and especially the dismissal 
of a signalman concerned in a previous dispute, were 
unfortunately obliterated by the fact that the men came 
out before the expiry of their notices. The strike lasted 
only some ten days, and ended on terms not unsatisfactory 
to the men ; the strikers were to be taken back within 
a month, and not to have the lost days counted against 
their pension service. Moreover a Conciliation Board was 
set up ; and altogether the intervention of Sir W. T. Lewis 
had been most successful. But the comparative mildness 
of the directors may have been partly due to the knowledge 
that they had a case against the men for damages, and 
1 The Times, ipth April 1900. 


intended to try it. They proceeded first against the union 
for damages for unlawful picketing. Mr Justice Farwell 
gave judgment against the trade union, believing that 
the law did not intend to set up bodies of men capable 
of holding property and acting as agents, but not 
responsible in damages. The Court of Appeal reversed 
this judgment. But the House of Lords finally pro- 
nounced for Justice Farwell's view ; and trade unionists 
awoke to the disturbing fact that their funds, which 
they had thought to be secure, were at the mercy of 
legal actions against the unions. 

But more perturbing, alike to the business world and 
the community at large, was the serious damage done this 
year to public confidence in the solicitor's profession. 
A case that occurred in April was grave enough : a firm of 
solicitors failing for the enormous sum of 364,000. One 
of the principals of the firm had absconded, and the Official 
Receiver had felt himself obliged to say that the case was 
" pervaded with fraud." x That suspicion was not con- 
fined to this particular case was clear from the comments 
it called forth 2 ; and also from the fact that the Incor- 
porated Law Society undertook an inquiry, with the object 
of reassuring the public. The inquiry covered a wide 
field of professional conduct, from the demand for separate 
banking accounts for trust funds to the suspicion that some 
solicitors in a small way of business frequently bolstered 
up inadequate claims at law for the sake of the costs, and 
even undertook cases in a purely speculative spirit. But 
reassurance of the public failed most grievously when, late 
in the year, Mr B. G. Lake, the very man who had, as chair- 
man of the Disciplinary Committee of the Law Society, 
been conducting the inquiry, was himself charged with mis- 
appropriation of funds. The absconding solicitor in the 
earlier case had been extradited from America by this time, 

1 The Times, I3th April 1900. 
Ditto, 27th April 1900. 


and the spectacle of two prominent solicitors charged in 
the police court was disturbing. 

It has to be remembered in this connection that the 
system of credit operations was now so highly organised, 
and bankers' cheques so universally used, that not only 
rich people but all who had a certain income had ceased 
to think of money except as a banking credit. As long 
as their drafts were honoured to the extent they had 
reason to expect, people concerned themselves no more 
about their property. This threw an unfair amount of 
responsibility upon solicitors, who were left in unsuper- 
vised control of the principal sums or the securities of 
their clients, no questions being asked, or even dreamed 
of, so long as the client's bank account gave him no reason 
to make investigations. By this time the absorption of 
private banks into large joint-stock concerns had grown 
to an enormous system. 1 Whereas in 1800 there had been 
forty-six private banks in London, there were in 1900 
only three ; and not much more than a dozen were left 
in the rest of England. But the big concerns rather ex- 
tended than contracted the number of local banks, opening 
branches in places where smaller firms in the old days 
would not have found business worth their while. Thus it 
came about that, though the actual number of banking 
firms in England was now 303, as against 458 in 1800, 
there was a branch to every 6900 persons, as against a 
bank to every 19,200 in 1800. 2 

The large public which had no securities or trust funds 
to cause them to take an interest in trials of solicitors had 
an interest more to its mind in a murder discovered at 
Yarmouth in September. A woman was found strangled 
on the beach, and eventually her husband, a man named 
Bennett, was put under arrest. The case has its interest, 

1 See vol. i., p. 264. 

1 See a paper read by Lord Hillingdon to the Institute of 
Bankers, pth November 1900. 


because it revealed how elaborately and unrestrainedly 
the newspaper Press could set itself to work in a matter 
of circumstantial evidence. Clues and correlation of facts 
were no longer left to the police and the prosecuting 
counsel, nor even to the defending counsel. They were 
saleable goods ; and most of the newspapers were by now 
concerned less with the guidance of public opinion than 
with selling a marketable thing. So much feeling was 
roused in this case, and so much had been published about 
it, that when it was sent to the assizes the trial was 
transferred from the local assize court to the Central 
Criminal Court, on the ground that a fair trial could not 
be expected in the local court. 

Popular interest was suddenly diverted again by an 
alarm about the presence of arsenic in beer. There had 
been some mysterious cases of illness, especially in Salf ord ; 
and, in the course of investigating them, suspicion had 
fallen upon beer. Scientists admitted that sulphuric acid, 
which was used in the preparation of glucose for brewers, 
might, if even slightly contaminated, produce arsenic. 
Uneasiness about beer was enough to trouble the whole 
country, and the last days of December were passed in a 
dismay so national as to be rather comic. 

Dismay on a very different plane was spread in the same 
month by the famous Cockerton judgment. This brought 
to a point all the long-standing hostility to the work of 
school boards in the domain of higher education hostility 
compounded of the feelings of secondary schools suffering 
from subsidised competition, ratepayers who provided the 
subsidy amid groans at rising rates, and reactionary 
malcontents who saw no good in advanced education for 
the children of weekly wage-earners. 1 It had for some 
time been known that the legal position of Higher Grade 
Board Schools was, to say the least of it, doubtful ; the 
" block grant " system had been busily discussed earlier 
in this year. Now a London School Board auditor, Mr 
1 See vol. i;, p, 428.- 


Cockerton, disallowed the payment of certain sums out 
of the rates for science and art teaching in elementary 
schools, and surcharged the boards with the payments. 
Mr Justice Wills, before whom the case brought by the 
London School Board came, upheld the auditor. The 
legal position ceased to be doubtful ; boards all over 
the country made up their minds that, until Parliament 
altered the position, higher education must cease. 
Meanwhile technical education had been magnificently 
advanced by the opening in May of fine buildings in 
connection with the Textile Industries Department of 
the Yorkshire College at Leeds. General ideas on 
technical education also were becoming clarified ; and it 
was being urged that in country districts such education 
should be more exclusively on rural subjects, and not on 
subjects scheduled alike for town and country. 

The sittings of Parliament at the end of the year 
chiefly for financing the war must be noted for the first 
emergence of the subject that was destined to play a large 
part in pulling the Liberal party together on a common 
policy. Not that it was so perceived at the moment. 
To all observers the party appeared to be without any- 
thing to weld it. A change of leadership was the remedy 
usually prescribed ; yet only Lord Rosebery could be 
suggested. 1 But in these brief sittings there appeared in 
debate the question of labour in the Johannesburg mines, 
and the Opposition showed some alertness. 

1 See The Times, ipth November 1900. 



WITH the passing of the old century passed also 
the sovereign whose name signified an historical 
era in life and thought, art and letters. The 
coincidence of the nineteenth century and the Victorian 
period was complete. 

The anxiety about Queen Victoria was first made public 
on 19th January, in an announcement that " the Queen 
had not been in her usual health," and had been instructed 
by her physicians to stay indoors, and abstain from busi- 
ness. The announcement was at once taken seriously. 
The general character of its terms was alarming ; because, 
if it was thought advisable without specific information to 
warn the public, obviously the intention was to prepare 
for more serious news. It had needed no special know- 
ledge to be aware that the war must inflict upon the 
Queen at her age a grievous strain. She had seen her 
country through the worst of its effort, and days terrible 
to her subjects must have been terrible to her. Now, 
though hostilities were not over, suspense was past ; and 
it fell out that her last public act was to be the honouring 
of the great soldier under whom the fortunes of war had 
turned. She received Lord Roberts at Osborne, and 
bestowed upon him an earldom, together with the greatest 
distinction at her command, the Order of the Garter. 

The nation had been taken into confidence not a 
moment too soon. The first announcement was pub- 
lished on a Saturday. On the Monday morning the 


newspapers had to announce that the Queen's condition 
was one of " increasing weakness, with diminished power 
of taking nourishment." On the Tuesday morning the 
bulletins told of a slight rally ; the Queen had been able 
both to take nourishment and to secure some sleep. But 
it was a brief flicker. On that same day she died, at 
6.30 in the evening. 

The Privy Council was summoned immediately to 
proclaim the new sovereign. Parliament was summoned 
to take the oath of allegiance. For the moment the 
reality of what had happened was partially obscured in 
the general excitement about long unwitnessed ceremonies. 
Nearly sixty-four years had elapsed since the last death 
of a British sovereign. No man alive had ever taken part 
in the formalities attendant on a demise of the Crown. 
Comparatively few even were the living people who 
remembered the last occasion of the kind, and fewer still 
who, in those days of no railways and rare newspapers, 
had had any first-hand knowledge of the ceremonies. 
The strangeness of the occasion affected everybody, from 
the great ones of the Privy Council, assembling at the 
palace in some nervousness at finding themselves more 
than a mere name, down to the populace, excited by the 
prospect of seeing real live heralds in tabards making a 
proclamation. The council heard from the lips of the 
new sovereign that it was his pleasure to take his place 
in the line of British kings by that one of his names which 
was in the regular succession. He had, as Prince of Wales, 
used always the two names, Albert Edward ; he deter- 
mined, he said, to leave the name Albert to be associated 
solely with his honoured father, and to ascend the throne 
as Edward the Seventh. So he was proclaimed. In the 
mellow old Friary Court of St James's Palace a grey 
January morning saw the low balcony blaze with strange 
splendours heralds, trumpeters and great court officials 
stepping from the high windows to announce the accession 


of King Edward the Seventh ; and as the King-of-Arms 
cried, at the end of the proclamation : " God Save the 
King," the words unheard for so long were followed by 
the rolling of drums and the solid beat of the National 
Anthem from the Guards' band in the courtyard below. 
Hence the heralds proceeded to Charing Cross, Temple 
Bar and the Royal Exchange, reading the proclamation 
at each point. 

The King words so strange in the mouths of English- 
men seemed to revive associations of majesty and state 
which had long been in abeyance. There had been a time 
when people resented the withdrawal of Queen Victoria 
in her personal grief on the death of the Prince Consort. 
But for a long while now the nation had acquiesced in 
her distaste for ceremonies ; the Court had had but a 
shadowy existence, the Queen had been an august but 
remote presence, honouring the nation that honoured her. 
But national pride in her had not for thirty years been 
able to see itself, so to speak, pictorially expressed in the 
sovereign. The name of king roused extraordinary ex- 
pectation. It was as if the days were returning when the 
monarch of this realm could be addressed in his own 
person as "England." Yet they returned with a differ- 
ence. The new reign was but three days old when there 
began to be discussion of possible amendment of the royal 
style and title. It was suggested that the time had come 
for the inclusion of the colonies. Twenty-five years earlier 
this idea had been mooted ; but then rather as a criticism 
of the decision to take the empire of India into the title 
than as a deliberate proposal. 1 Now the intention was 
different ; and in the ensuing session of Parliament the 
change was made, and the King became " King of Great 

1 Mr Robert Lowe, in the debate on the Royal Titles Bill in 
April 1876, asked if it were logical to include India, while not 
recognising the colonies ; and Mr Gladstone associated himself 
with this criticism. See Hansard, Third Series, vol. 227, c. 1740. 


Britain and Ireland and of all British Dominions beyond 
the Seas. ' ' The idea must have been already well matured , 
either in the King's own mind or the mind of his advisers, 
before the suggestion was made public ; because the very 
form of the new phrase was foreseen in the ascription of 
one of the messages promulgated by the King directly his 
immediate obligations were at an end. The messages were 
addressed, one " To my People," one " To my People 
beyond the Seas," and one " To the Princes and People 
of India." 

Those immediate obligations recalled the nation from 
its distractions about the new to undertake its tribute to 
the old. For ten days the body of Queen Victoria lay in 
state at Osborne, soldiers of the Guards leaning with bent 
heads on rifles reversed at the four corners of the draped 
coffin. But this was the private state in which so much 
of her life had been passed. Her family gathered there ; 
and the German Emperor had gone far to winning affection 
in this country by the great promptness with which he 
had come to take his place among the mourners. On 1st 
February came the preliminary stage of a funeral express- 
ing all the might and majesty that were Queen Victoria's 
right, however little of late years she had seemed to care 
for the parade of them. The fact that she had died at 
Osborne brought it about that the first grandeur of cere- 
monial remarkably expressed her rule over an island 
dominion bulwarked by sea power. The first thunder of 
the minute guns of her passing came from her warships. 
At the opening of her last journey through the midst of 
her people her way was in the sea and her path in the great 
waters. The leviathans of her fleet lay marking her 
passage; and from battleships among them floated the 
ensigns of foreign nations France, Germany, Japan and 
others adding their guns to the salute of a Queen of the 
High and the Narrow Seas. Yet not even in the immensity 
of that spectacle was sight lost of the long-familiar pathos 


of the small, solitary figure of her people's remembrance. 
The little Alberta, with the canopy aft sheltering the coffin 
under its dead-white pall, with the gold emblems of 
sovereignty dimly to be descried upon it, floated very 
small and lonely between the towering warships from 
which the sharp flashes leaped into a sombre air. Eight 
destroyers escorted the Alberta, and so solemn was the 
speed of the procession that men on the warships noticed 
that the propellers which could drive at so tearing a pace 
made now no sign of their revolution in the water. Be- 
hind the Alberta came the larger royal yacht, Victoria and 
Albert, bearing the King and the Duke of Connaught ; 
and behind that the high white sides of the German Em- 
peror's yacht, the Hohenzollern. As the procession reached 
Portsmouth Harbour the sun at its setting broke through 
the clouds, drawing a low line of red light across the 

Next day the funeral procession passed through London 
on its way to Windsor. It was a grey winter's day, but 
long before daybreak the route of the procession was 
heavily crowded. Now on land, as on the sea the day 
before, the power of the Sovereign of England surrounded 
the dead, with all the pomp of a military funeral. Long 
lines of troops were mustered, the head of them being in 
St James's Street before the procession started. Volun- 
teers, militia, yeomanry and the regular troops all sent 
detachments ; and band after band took up the Dead 
Marches. Behind the last of the troops came riding in 
more spaced array the foreign military attaches, the Head- 
quarters Staff, officers of the Royal Household and aides- 
de-camp. Then came the gun carriage with its burden, 
as nearly magnificent as anything could be in the greyness. 
Upon the bright silken pall rested the Crown, the Orb and 
the Sceptre. She whom in life London hardly remembered 
except in the mourning of her widowhood went this time 
in shining array. The company that followed her was 


splendidly royal. In honour of a Mother among rulers, 
crowned heads for the first time attended a crowned head 
to the grave. In the front rank rode the King, the Duke 
of Connaught on his left hand and the German Emperor on 
his right ; three kings, of the Belgians, of Portugal and of 
the Hellenes, rode next ; and hi the other ranks, conspicu- 
ous with fluttering plumes, bright unusual uniforms and 
ribbons of foreign orders, were the Grand Duke Michael 
of Russia, the Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, the 
Duke of Aosta, the German Crown Prince, and the Crown 
Princes of Denmark, Norway and Sweden, and Siam. 

For once some unity of conception and some dignity 
were apparent in the adornment of the streets. It was 
so obviously not an occasion for the usual mane paper 
roses and flags that invention had to be set to work. The 
houses were draped with purple and white, and along the 
pavements heavy festoons of laurel swung from pillar to 
pillar, with wreaths of laurel at the fastenings. Thousands 
of the people, when the procession had passed, took away 
leaves from the festoons in memory of the day. 

At Windsor an awkward moment gave the navy its 
opportunity to come to the front again. The artillery 
horses waiting there with another gun carriage grew 
restive in the delay, and became unmanageable. With 
a fortunate readiness, bluejackets, accustomed to drawing 
their own guns, took charge, and drew the gun carriage up 
the hill to the castle. Over the open vault in St George's 
Chapel sounded again the strangeness of long-unused 
ceremonial when the herald stepped forward and read that 
stately recognition of the old and the new : " Forasmuch 
as it hath pleased Almighty God to take out of this 
transitory life to His divine mercy the most high, most 
mighty, and most excellent Monarch ..." Then the 
pageantry was closed. On the following day the body of 
Queen Victoria was laid in the mausoleum at Frogmore, 
beside the body of the Prince Consort. 


It was soon made clear that the new order was to be 
imbued with new ideas. The King allowed it to be known 
that the tendency, which had naturally increased under 
Queen Victoria's force of habit and advancing years, to 
interpret court and personal mourning as withdrawal from 
public appearances, was not to continue. A man so exact 
in feeling for state etiquette as King Edward could see 
as well where etiquette ended as where it began. His 
conception of a court was that it should be careful not to 
allow its own necessarily wide obligations in such matters 
as mourning to become an oppression. As Queen Victoria 
grew old and saw, as the old must see, a greater number 
among the dead than among the living of those she had 
known and been attached to, the Court Circular had become 
more and more often an announcement of elaborate 
memorial services. King Edward, while careful not to 
relax established formalities of mourning, was equally 
careful that they should not encroach upon the sovereign's 
public life. He returned with the Queen to London a few 
days after the funeral ; and proceeded on 14th February to 
open Parliament in full state. Here again was a ceremony 
disused for more than fifteen years. It appeared incident- 
ally that, while the King's clear conception of etiquette was 
in some respects to be a relief, it was in others to exact 
stricter recognition of forms. Since the Queen had given 
up opening Parliament in person, the Speech from the 
Throne had become almost avowedly a mere Cabinet 
announcement ; and its terms were usually divulged in 
advance. From this time a change took place, and nothing 
was disclosed beforehand. The people, pardonably eager 
for pomps of which they had long been deprived, gathered 
again in immense crowds on the short route of the pro- 
cession. It was known that the revival of court cere- 
monial was to be supported by the appearance of all the 
handsome old dress coaches that the peers could produce ; 
and the heavy painted vehicles, with their tasselled 


hammer-cloths and footmen in state liveries standing on 
the board behind, enlivened the period of waiting for the 
amazing gilded glass coach in which the King and Queen 
rode down to Westminster. Excitement even unduly 
affected the honourable members of the House of Commons. 
When Black Rod summoned the Speaker to attend upon 
his Majesty, the solemn stillness of the waiting House 
of Lords was invaded by an unseemly mob ; the rows 
of peers in their voluminous scarlet and ermine, and of 
peeresses glittering with diamonds, the orderly ranks of 
officers of state around the steps of the throne, even the 
King and Queen hi their magnificence, turned eyes of 
pained surprise towards the trampling irruption of the 
Commons. Certainly there was little in the speech itself 
to cause excitement. But this being the first occasion 
of the new sovereign meeting Parliament, it was his duty 
to make the Accession Declaration, expressing his adher- 
ence to the Protestant faith ; and out of this grew at once 
a controversy. One of its effects was to show an extra- 
ordinary laggardness in some regions of thought. The 
Roman Catholics raised vigorous objection to the survival 
in this declaration of phrases which they deemed offensive 
to their consciences, and which appeared to the greater 
number of their Protestant fellow-subjects to be at least 
couched in terms discordant with taste and proper feeling. 
The Roman Catholics pointed out that they had long been 
admitted to full civil liberty in this country, and could hold 
offices, sit in Parliament, exercise the franchise, and be in 
the most complete sense the King's loyal subjects ; was it 
right, therefore, that the King should be compelled still 
to affront the susceptibilities of such subjects ? Yet no 
sooner was the question raised than a body of opposition 
began to appear which showed no sign of change from 
the days before Emancipation. It would hardly have 
been surprising to wake up hi London some morning and 
find " No Popery " chalked again upon doors. A change 


which might well have seemed certain beforehand to 
proceed by common consent was checked. 

After the opening of Parliament there was no further 
great ceremonial this year. The King did not, as has been 
said, neglect the formalities of court mourning. But in 
spite of the proper quiet that was observed the changed 
spirit of the new regime was present. It was felt in several 
subtle ways. London, for instance, it might be said, had 
become again a genuine capital of the kingdom. Queen 
Victoria had grown less and less inclined to live there ; 
Balmoral and Osborne had her heart, and Windsor was as 
near as she cared to be to the seat of government, even in 
times of important events. The King was a Londoner. 
Balmoral had in his mind only the place that a Scottish 
castle naturally has in the mind of a great gentleman, a 
place for deer stalking and grouse shooting at the proper 
time of year. Osborne had no meaning at all for him. He 
had long owned a considerable estate at Sandringham, 
where he preserved on a large scale ; and this place re- 
presented to him another of the usual requirements of a 
great gentleman ; there was no shooting at Osborne. The 
result was that the Court became again the natural head 
of society ; its ways were the ways of society, and London 
was its centre. Government, again, had no longer a 
divided habitation. Life returned, on less important 
planes, to many empty shells of duty : levees and courts, 
meetings of the Privy Council, and even such affairs as the 
daily changing of the guard at the palaces. The interests, 
the talk, the cheerful expectations of the people pivoted 
upon London again. 

It was just as well that the public mind should be 
mildly distracted, for the year did not open prosperously. 
Trade had been declining for the past six months ; the 
drain of men for the war had at last made itself seriously 
felt, and as coal had risen in price the iron and steel trades 
and shipbuilding were in a depressed condition. The de- 


claration of railway dividends in February provided another 
blow. Naturally the attempt to raise freights in the 
previous year * had been a warning to railway shareholders 
not to expect too much ; but the dividends were lower 
even than had been anticipated, and the explanation 
offered, which was to the effect that for some time past 
directors had been dividing too much and spending too 
little upon improvements, was not of a kind to raise hopes 
for the immediate future. 2 On top of all came a very 
serious failure in the City. The London & Globe Finance 
Corporation announced that it was unable to meet its 
engagements, and soon afterwards the Standard Explora- 
tion Company, an allied concern, went into liquidation. 
These companies were chiefly the creation of a financier 
of the modern comet-like kind, Mr Whittaker Wright. He 
had drawn an immense amount of money into operations 
of a kind very difficult for anyone but a Stock Exchange 
expert to follow. The companies, of which there were 
three principal ones in alliance, owned certain mining 
properties and land concessions, but the profits largely 
depended on complicated dealing among the companies, 
and upon the results of a sort of stock and share trust 
which they comprised. Their failure not only involved 
monetary loss to thousands of comparatively small in- 
vestors attracted by large dividends, but also brought 
back again all the old mistrust of " show " boards of 
directors. Lord Dufferin had been chairman of the 
London & Globe Finance Corporation ; and it was 
melancholy to see a man of his most distinguished 
record and his high public service confessing that he 
had found it impossible to master the intricacies of 
the operations of a company over which he nominally 
presided. This was exactly the kind of incident to 
check investment ; and a year starting in trade 

1 See page 1 1 8 . 

2 See The Times, i?ih February 1901. 


depression could ill afford coyness in the money 

Meanwhile there was the financial drain of the war, still 
going on, and hardly on a less expensive scale. In 
February Lord Kitchener asked for 30,000 mounted 
men. The war had early become a lesson in the value of 
extreme mobility ; and the guerilla fighting was driving 
home the conviction that until we worked almost en- 
tirely with mounted men we should never wear down 
the resistance of fighters who could always move quickly 
enough to break cordons and make off for a rest quickly 
enough also to be perpetually refitting by swift raids 
on our less mobile convoys. A third War Budget had 
to be faced, and a fresh war loan. The latter had to be 
issued at a price considerably lower than the earlier ones. 
Thirty millions of Consols, ranking with " Goschens " 
(that is, bearing 2f per cent., to sink to 2| in 1903) were 
put on the market at 94 J, and at this price were subscribed 
about five times over. Another thirty millions were placed 
privately with the big financial houses. 1 These two sums 
raised the total of the war loans to a hundred and thirty- 
five millions. For the Budget extra millions had to be 
found. The revenue returns had, indeed, exceeded the 
estimate by nearly three millions ; but once again the 
figures were deceptive, because of advance clearances. It 
had been plain that new taxation would be imposed, and 
bonded goods had been cleared to escape it. Sugar was 
pretty well known to be in for a large part of the burden, 
and there were shrewd guesses at an intention to tax corn. 2 
" Broadening the basis of taxation," which had for years 
been a Conservative ideal, seemed now to be the only 
method in the mind of the Chancellor of the Exchequer. 
A duty of 4s. 2d. a cwt. was imposed on sugar, to raise 
five millions ; and an export duty of Is. a ton was placed 

1 The Times, 27th April 1901. 
1 Ibid., 5th March 19015 


on coal, to raise two millions. A further 2d. on the income- 
tax, raising it to Is. 2d., was to provide the balance. The 
coal-duty made trouble at once ; and the Chancellor of 
the Exchequer found that " broadening the basis " was 
apt to lead to unexpected complications. He spent much 
of his time with deputations of coalowners, who brought 
before him strange results of his new tax. 

This kind of finance, bringing neither courage nor 
originality to bear upon circumstances demanding both, 1 
was of a piece with the rest of the year's work in the 
Commons. The new Parliament was not answering to 
any hopes Mr Chamberlain may have entertained. The 
enthusiasm of victory soon waned ; Ministerialists returned 
to their slack ways in face of the weakness of the Opposi- 
tion ; ministers were described by their own organs as 
careless and shiftless, and Mr Balfour's leadership was not 
admired ; lapses of memory and frequent absence from 
the Treasury Bench were charged against him. 2 The 
Cabinet held hardly any meetings ; this fact was so patent 
that political philosophers even began to ask whether the 
theory of the Cabinet was undergoing a change whether 
Government was really carried on by a small inner Cabinet, 
meeting informally, and obtaining the formal consent of 
other members by letters and telegrams. 3 The ineffectual 
mood of the Government was shown by the feebleness 
of its attempt to deal with the situation produced by 
the Cockerton judgment. 4 The Appeal Court upheld the 
divisional court, and so hastened the complete stoppage 
of all higher-grade education. It was impossible to 
acquiesce in this ; Conservatives and Unionists showed 
quite as strongly as Liberals their feeling that the cutting 
short of such activities on a point of law called for instant 

1 See The Progress of the Nation, edited by F. W. Hirst, p. 690. 

2 See The Nineteenth Century for June and September 1901. 

3 The Times, 1 5th October 1901. 

4 See p. 121. 


remedy. But the Bill which the Government introduced 
in response to the general demand was obviously a half- 
measure, hastily framed. It proposed to set up local 
committees over the school boards, with control of the 
spending of the rate, but no power* to impose rates ; and 
in the making of this new authority to get behind the legal 
stumbling-block of the existing Acts. Within a month 
the Bill was abandoned ; and a one-clause Bill was 
introduced, by which local authorities were permitted to 
empower school boards to carry on secondary education 
for a year. There was considerable debate on this, the 
Opposition asking why this empowering of school boards 
could not be done directly, without the intervention of 
local authorities. The Government was really enunciat- 
ing the principle of a new educational authority. But the 
situation was thus patched up for the moment ; and Sir 
John Gorst, President of the Board of Education, made 
reassuring statements to the effect that after all the 
Cockerton judgment had only affected some fifty higher- 
grade schools, and 900 out of the 7000 science and art 

The only other matter of importance in Parliament was 
the production of a new scheme of army organisation. 
Its keynotes were decentralisation of commands, and the 
maintenance in peace time of commands under the generals 
who would command in war. The army was to be organ- 
ised into six army corps, three of them in efficient exist- 
ence, and three skeletons for training purposes, to be 
filled at need from the reserves. The scheme was not 
received with great enthusiasm. It was criticised as 
aiming too high and missing the immediate necessities ; 
for before making an ideal organisation it was necessary 
to obtain the men to put into it. Recruiting had fallen 
off, and this scheme did nothing to provide fresh induce- 
ments to recruits, either in unproved pay or better con- 
ditions of service. The " skeletons " were really nothing 


but phantoms. The most cynical critics alleged that Mr 
Brodrick had been induced by the military authorities to 
give a final proof of the impossibility of maintaining an 
adequate army on the principle of voluntary enlistment, 
and so to pave the way for compulsory military service. 
Ultimately Mr Brodrick weakened one of his chief argu- 
ments by his appointments to the three main commands. 
The 1st Army Corps was given to General Buller ; the 
2nd to Sir Evelyn Wood, and the 3rd to the Duke of 
Connaught. People very naturally asked what had be- 
come of the principle that the corps should be commanded 
by the men who would command them in war. 

This was efficiency on paper with Lord Kitchener com- 
plaining of the poor quality of the mounted men sent out to 
him, men so largely untrained that they had to be drilled 
on arrival. The outcry for real efficiency was growing in 
strength, with the eloquent voice of Lord Rosebery added 
to it. Sometimes it took the line of the widest philoso- 
phical criticism, reviving Matthew Arnold's reproach of 
England as " out of the centre of thought," and " pecking 
at the outside" of her problems. From that it passed 
most easily to discussion of our methods in secondary 
schools, and public schools, to which the Board of Educa- 
tion was beginning to pay particular attention. A report 
was published this year on the preparatory school system, 
which had been practically a growth of the last thirty 
years, and was excellent from the standpoint of the in- 
dividual attention given to pupils, but not wide enough 
in curriculum, being limited by the requirements of public 
schools. The most advanced areas of education were 
equally stirred. The London School of Economics put 
forward a claim to support on the ground that its training 
would turn out men able " to get the affairs of the nation 
on a business footing." The university of Birmingham 
set to work to create a Faculty of Commerce. Mr Car- 
negie gave an immense sum of money, the income of 


which was calculated at 100,000, to be held on trust, 
half of the income being applied to the endowment of 
fellowships and the forwarding of research, and the other 
half to pay class fees and provide maintenance grants for 
poor students. At the lowest end of the educational scale 
a new effort was set on foot, largely by the advocacy of 
Mrs Humphry Ward, to bring in to the educational system 
those who had hitherto been kept outside it by physical 
deficiencies. The scheme, financed by private funds, but 
approved by the London School Board, was to provide 
ambulances to take crippled children to the schools, and 
couches for their use in the schoolrooms. 

Then the cry for efficiency turned in other directions. 
It deplored the difficulties of reform in a nation so easily 
diverted from its intentions by any new scent of amuse- 
ment or passing interest. 1 And having thus approached 
the ordinary member of the community, it fell upon the 
workman. Did he work keenly enough ? Did not trade 
union rules tend to limit output, to make men adhere to 
some particular standard of work, not pitched very high ? 
Was there not even now a resentment of new machinery 
and speeding-up of production ? 

In December the restless distrust of ourselves was 
quickened by a speech made by the Prince of Wales. He 
had just returned from a tour of the colonies, his return 
being marked first by the King's assumption of the new 
royal title embracing the colonies, and secondly by the 
elevation of the Duke of Cornwall (as the Duke of York 
had been termed since the King's accession) to the dignity 
of Prince of Wales. Speaking at the Guildhall, he gave, 
as one of the lessons of his tour, the warning that 
England should take to heart not only the example of 
the progressive communities she had founded, but the 
competition produced in their growing markets, and 
should " wake up." So the year ended with the demand 

1 The Times, i6th October 1901. 


for efficiency undiminished ; and even roused to more 

Yet, though so many people talked about it, the prone- 
ness to easy distraction showed little sign of disappearing. 
The great beer alarm occupied as much of the beginning 
of the year as was not given to greater events. So national 
a subject was it that a Royal Commission was appointed. 
A Local Government Board report, by one of the board's 
medical inspectors, showed that the cases of poisoning 
had been very numerous, about 2000 in Manchester 
alone, nearly 800 in Salford, and over 500 in Lichfield. 
The area thus known to be affected was compara- 
tively small ; but, since the origin of the contamina- 
tion appeared to be a process employed in most 
breweries, the alarm spread to every part of the country. 
But people remained high-spirited enough to invent a 
cheerfully idiotic form of riddle ; the " What gave 
Barry Pain ? " type of question flourished, and pro- 
duced a competition in equally idiotic answers. Then 
an unusually hot summer exaggerated the growing habit of 
taking week ends out of town, and inclined men to longer 
holidays facts sure to be noted by the apostles of effi- 
ciency. The " back to the land " pose was also remarked 
this year in a sudden outburst of gardening books ; the 
craze spread upwards from the people with week-end 
cottages to great ladies, who suddenly began to take a 
violent interest in the beautiful old gardens of their 
country houses, and frequented flower shows with 
pencils and catalogues. As for the holiday habit, it may 
be said now to have lain in the direction, not only of 
lengthened holidays at the normal time, but of new holi- 
days at unheard-of times. Winter sports were beginning 
to be known in England. As yet they were pursued mostly 
in Sweden and Norway l ; but descriptions of them 
sowed the seed which a few years later was to take business 
1 The Times, 28th February 1901. 


men by the hundred and the thousand to Switzerland 
at Christmas time. Moreover, the conducted tour was 
reaching up to social strata which had hitherto despised 
it ; the inventor of Cook's travels must have smiled 
when he saw deans and parish priests, dons and school- 
masters launching out for the Isles of Greece in large 
steam-vessels chartered to carry a select company. 

In the autumn Sir Thomas Lipton, with a new yacht, 
Shamrock II., had everybody out on the Embankment 
again of an evening, watching coloured lights even huge 
outlines of yachts moving as the telegrams came in from 
America to show the fortunes of another%iallenge for the 
America Cup. The British yacht was beaten again, but 
by such narrow margins of time that people began to think 
this must surely represent the best we could possibly do 
under the exacting conditions. Flying leapt into the 
place of a popular excitement with the performances of 
M. Santos-Dumont, a rich young Brazilian resident in Paris, 
who had built a cigar-shaped dirigible balloon, and had 
actually steered it on a circular course round the Eiffel 
Tower, before the wind pressure caused the nose of the 
gas-bag to collapse, and foul the screw. The aeronaut 
was saved by the balloon catching on the corner of a 
high building. The success of the venture was more 
emphasised than its failure ; and as yet the " heavier 
than air " principle entered into no competition with such 
displays. In another sphere of mechanical invention, the 
Marconi system of wireless telegraphy made one more 
great stride. A station had been erected at Poldhu in 
Cornwall, and thence signals were exchanged across the 
Atlantic to a station in Newfoundland. 

Motor cars were distinctly under a cloud. Many power- 
ful people had refused so far to surrender to their utility, 
and still swelled the ranks of those who complained of 
the noise, the dangerous speed, the raising of dust, the 
destruction of the road surface, and all the other counts in 


the indictment. Demand grew loud for the numbering of 
all cars, and the licensing of drivers ; though it was hardly 
believed, since such restrictions had not been imposed 
as a condition of the liberty of the road in 1896, that 
motorists could now be subjected to them. 1 

In one connection, however, the internal combustion 
engine had made a change of which there was no criticism. 
Submarine boats had become practicable. In 1901 the 
British Government made its first provision for adding 
some of those boats to our navy, experiments by foreign 
countries, notably by France, having been watched with 
profit. The otMfer new glories of the navy had come to a 
sad end. Both the turbine-equipped destroyers, with their 
marvellous turn of speed, the Viper and the Cobra, had 
been lost, the former being wrecked during manoeuvres, 
and the latter, more mysteriously, during a voyage in the 
North Sea. From the first the truth was guessed at ; 
the question asked was, not what had she collided with, 
but had she broken her back by hitting something or by 
a mere wave-shock. In other words, had the frightful 
speed been too much for her ? The court martial on the 
loss of her decided, in effect, in the latter sense : the ship's 
structure had not been strong enough for a speed so far 
beyond any of the ordinary calculations of strain. It 
must be remarked here that the navy, like everything 
else, came into the range of the critics. The education of 
our military officers had been shown by the war to be 
somewhat in default ; was the education of our naval 
officers as good as it could be ? And hi ships, as well as in 
personnel, were we answering the requirements of an age 
of standardisation ? This last word was rapidly becoming 
the catchword which " progress " had been twenty years 

The Church was not without response to the probings 
which were being everywhere applied. Its voice was not 

1 The Times, i2th April 1901. 


very helpful, perhaps, on such matters as workmen's 
wages, or the erection of model dwellings. But it con- 
tinued to try hard to drop unprofitable disputes about 
ritual. Certain changes of this year in the episcopate 
tended in one sense in that direction, though in another 
they exasperated extreme Evangelicals. Dr Creighton, 
Bishop of London, died, a man who had merged great 
historical learning, and a student's love of the quiet paths 
of knowledge, in the demands of a high administrative 
office ; and had had the consolation of applying the balm 
of scholarly wit and intellectual detachment to the sore 
places of a bishop's work. He was succeeded by Dr 
Wilmington Ingram, who as head of Oxford House and 
afterwards Bishop of Stepney brought to the episcopal 
throne such intimate knowledge of the poor working Lon- 
don as had never yet found a place there. His appoint- 
ment was a most striking case of preferment turning 
rather to faithful and, one might say, inspired Church 
work than to scholastic reputation. But he was known to 
be a High Churchman ; and a later appointment during 
the year, that of Dr Charles Gore to be Bishop of Worcester, 
was even more markedly of a kind to cause a return of 
strife. The High Church party had just lost a notable 
member by the death of Canon Carter, of Clewer, who 
had been one of the most active in reviving the work of 
Sisterhoods in the service of the Church. The new Bishop 
of London set himself to apply to his rather vexed diocese 
(though certainly less vexed than it was once, thanks to 
Dr Creighton's judicious control) that method of " godly 
monitions " which at the beginning of the year the arch- 
bishops and bishops had appealed to the clergy to heed. 
The strong desire now was to show that ritual prosecu- 
tions were harmful in every direction, and that both 
extremes should avoid them for the sake of the Church's 
There was not so much " taking stock " of advances and 


changes in thought and taste as might have been expected 
at the opening of a new century. In art the work of 
Rodin was beginning to be known and discussed in 
England. But rich people were still some distance from 
speculating in the work of modern artists ; and a craze 
just now for the collection of mezzotints and old coloured 
prints was the excitement of the salerooms. However, 
a certain sense that design and craftsmanship had genu- 
inely revived in the applied arts expressed itself rather 
deplorably in the market for objects of L'Art Nouveau ; 
they were, even at this early period, tortured in outline 
and affectedly barbaric in material. Lumps of turquoise 
matrix did duty for jewellery ; and articles of silver or 
pewter were given shapes and surfaces which suggested 
that the metal had somehow guttered in a draught. The 
opening of the Whitechapel Art Gallery, given by Mr 
Passmore Edwards, must be recorded, as a sign of the 
now established position of an excellently managed system 
of interesting East London in pictures. The drama hung 
very much between old and new. On the one hand, Mr 
Beerbohm Tree drew upon modern ingenuity to stage 
Twelfth Night, with an elaboration of detail and a degree of 
artifice never before attempted. On the other hand, The 
Times had taken for its dramatic critic Mr Walkley, whose 
articles in The Star had shown no particular reverence for 
established tradition ; and Mr Henry Arthur Jones was 
hinting at a possible future for a repertoire theatre in 
London, and perhaps also in Manchester or Birming- 
ham. 1 

One of the most startling publications of the year was 
a series of articles by Dr Robert Anderson on prison 
management. The subject was not a new one. From time 
to time there had been an inclination to plume ourselves 
upon the growing wisdom of our prison administration ; 
and recently the separate treatment of first offenders, and 
1 In The Nineteenth Century, March 1901. 

the provision of special places of detention for lads (the 
best known being at Borstal in Kent), where the time of 
detention was used for educational purposes, had been 
a source of gratification. The hooligan was becoming 
a cause of much public anxiety a Twentieth-Century 
League was inaugurated for dealing with him and it was 
believed that the Borstal system offered new hopes for his 
case. Public attention of a different kind was, as it hap- 
pened, called to Borstal at the end of 1900 by the escape 
of two prisoners, who managed, in spite of the spirited 
hunting by newspaper reporters, to remain at large until 
well into 1901. Dr Anderson, who had been Assistant- 
Commissioner of Metropolitan Police, and was now on the 
verge of retirement, disturbed complacency by something 
very like scornfulness. His view was that all the modern 
classification and separation did not touch the root of the 
matter ; and he affirmed that what was wanted was a 
classification apart of habitual criminals, and the im- 
prisonment of them for life. But the amazing point in his 
articles was his assertion that if only seventy men, upon 
whom the police could lay their hands without much 
trouble, were thus put out of the way, the organisation 
of crime against property would be dislocated to such a 
degree that in ten years the community would be free of 
it. 1 The difficulty felt by those who read his articles was 
that juries would be slow to convict a man in such a way 
as to shut him up for life for offences against property ; and 
the tone of Dr Anderson's articles was not altogether of a 
kind to win assent. 

Casual distractions of the year were not the only 
hindrance to the cry for efficiency. The nation could 
hardly be expected to pay heed, when it was in a state 
of division which increased rapidly in bitterness. At 
the beginning of the year the Conciliation Committee 
was so far unpopular that it was labelled " the stop- 
1 The Nineteenth Century, March 1901. 


the- war party." Two prominent Afrikanders of the 
Cape Ministry, Mr Merriman and Mr Sauer, were in 
England in the summer ; and addressed meetings which 
in some cases were noisy, and in others were besieged 
by crowds outside the building. A new subject of 
controversy had arisen. The pursuit of the war by 
methods of cordoning districts and clearing them 
up by mobile columns, together with the burning of 
farms, had necessitated the removal of Boer women and 
children to large concentration camps. By the month of 
June there were some 25,000 Boer people in such camps, 
living mostly in tents, but sometimes in temporary struc- 
tures of wood and iron. They were supplied daily with 
rations, and dairies were attached to the camps. There 
would in any case have been a feeling among Radicals 
that this was one more of the lamentable lengths to which 
we were being driven by determination to stop at nothing 
short of absolute subjection one more of the seed-beds 
of lasting hatred. But Miss Emily Hobhouse, who had 
visited the camps, brought back news of distress and illness 
and terrible death rates, which made the Conciliation 
Committee fasten sharply upon the concentration camps 
in their attacks upon the Government. For the latter 
half of the year one side answered another with ever- 
growing animosity. A meeting was actually called at 
the Guildhall to protest against criticism of the war and 
the camps. Cheers were given at a meeting in the Queen's 
Hall for De Wet. Any tendency there may have been (and 
there was certainly some tendency) to admit the justice 
and truth of Miss Hobhouse's reports was swamped in 
anger at the activity of the conciliatory propaganda. 
The average death rate in the camps in May was about 
117 per thousand, but the highest rate, at the Bloemfontein 
camp, was shocking, amounting to 383-16 per thousand. 
Yet when once this matter had become connected in the 
public mind with " Pro-Boerism," it could not be regarded 


wisely or patiently. A Blue Book was published late in 
the year, admitting that there had been much sickness 
and death in the camps, but pointing out that the Boers 
in them could not be induced either to submit properly 
to medical treatment or to obey sanitary regulations. 
This was not likely to satisfy people who maintained 
that the camps ought never to have been brought into 

The very serious animosity prevalent throughout the 
autumn and winter in England was partly due also to 
a wave of depression about the war which had swept over 
the country in the summer. We were spending a million and 
a half a week in the attempt to gather into nets scattered 
commandos, which not only continually cut off detached 
bodies of troops and convoys, stripped them of clothes, 
arms, ammunition and provisions, and retired to moun- 
tainous country to refit, but even brought about a second 
invasion of Cape Colony. Lord Kitchener's determined 
and deliberate methods, the cutting up of the country 
into sections by lines of block-houses, and the perpetual 
sweeping movements hi these sections, were eminently 
sound, but were not of a kind to stimulate martial excite- 
ment at home. Every week he reported to the War Office 
his bag of prisoners, often balanced by losses and failures 
on our side ; and the dragging length of the tale exasper- 
ated and depressed a public which throughout had not 
shown much either of patience or of intellectual grasp of 
the operations. Hasty expectations meant disappoint- 
ment ; and bad temper turned naturally to vent itself 
upon fellow-countrymen who said that we had better 
acknowledge that we were aiming at a wrong object, and 
make terms. To criticise the concentration camps was to 
criticise the whole of the work that Lord Kitchener was 
doing ; the camps could, from the war party's point of 
view, be regarded as a piece of almost quixotic humaneness. 
Then the foundation of a League of Liberals against 


Aggression and Militarism, with a programme of meetings 
throughout the autumn, was interpreted as a general 
accusation of bloodthirstiness. Feeling rose hotly and 
rapidly. Conciliation meetings were broken up, and ended 
often in free fights. Miss Hobhouse, starting on a second 
visit to the concentration camps, with a relief fund to 
administer, was prevented from landing at Cape Town, 
and sent back to England. Finally in December came the 
worst riot of all. Mr Lloyd George had undertaken 
to speak in Birmingham ; and this was regarded as an un- 
warrantable intrusion into a city devoted to Mr Chamber- 
lain. The town hall, where Mr Lloyd George was to speak, 
was besieged by an extremely angry crowd. Stones and 
bricks were hurled through the windows, one of the doors 
was broken down in a rush, and pistols were fired. The 
police did their best ; no less than ninety-seven of them 
were injured. But at last relief came with the descent 
of a snowstorm at about 10.30 P.M. The crowd slowly 
dispersed, and Mr Lloyd George was removed in disguise 
from the town hall. One man lost his life during the 

Again the party of opposition to the war was involun- 
tarily sheltering the Government. The chagrin of the 
nation vented itself on the " Pro-Boers," and the slackness 
on the part of the Government, which had been matter 
of complaint at the end of the session, was again forgotten. 
The Ministry could even blunder with comparative im- 
punity in efforts to put a good face upon the situation. 
For instance, a proclamation fixing 15th September as the 
close of " legitimate hostilities " was a complete fiasco. 
It had no effect whatever on the course of hostilities, and 
was merely a threat delivered to empty air. Then Lord 
Halsbury, the Lord Chancellor, speaking at Sheffield in 
October, tried his hand at minimising the long drag of the 
campaign by saying that " a sort of a war " only was now 
going on. If national irritation had not had other victims, 


these Ministerial stupidities could hardly have escaped 
as lightly as they did. Comparatively few discontented 
people were heard asking what the Cabinet was doing. 
Nor was there any real Liberal strength to be thrown into 
attack on normal party lines. Active and vigorous as the 
" Pro-Boers " were, the Liberal party in general presented 
no formidable sight. Wrangles in its high places were con- 
stant ; and, though a meeting of the party at the Reform 
Club in July produced a formal resolution of loyalty to 
Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman, it was not taken very 
seriously. He had had his part in criticising the conduct 
of the war ; and, in the mood of too -ready labelling with 
opprobrious phrases, a comment of his upon certain 
specific proposals as " methods of barbarism " had been 
spread abroad sedulously as expressing his view of the war 
in general. Hence Liberals of less determined views on 
the subject, like Mr Asquith, publicly denied the right of 
Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman to regard his declarations 
as representing the true Liberal faith. All that observers 
could foresee was an eclipse of the present leader, which 
should involve also Sir William Harcourt and Mr Morley, 
and the return to power of Lord Rosebery, with such lieu- 
tenants as Mr Asquith, Sir Edward Grey and Mr Haldane. 
The resolution at the Reform Club meeting was wittily 
described as a resolution of " loyalty with a latchkey " l ; 
and it was supposed that Lord Rosebery would have 
no difficulty in making a following. When he " came out 
into the open " hi July with a public speech, speculation 
grew keener. True, he spoke of himself as " ploughing 
a lonely furrow," but he added : " before I get to the end 
of the furrow I may find myself not alone." Still stronger 
grew the interest when it was announced that he was to 
address a great meeting in Derbyshire in December. 
The scene of the meeting the small town of Chester- 
field, where there was so little accommodation for a gather- 
1 Article by Dr Joseph Parker in The Times, ist October 1901. 


ing of this kind that a large railway shed had to be employed 
for the occasion gave a singularly detached and " free- 
lancing " air to the proceedings. But it was significant 
that Liberals of all shades of thought assembled to hear 
Lord Rosebery, even to the point of calling forth satirical 
remarks about the contending factions sitting down 
together. Most of them must have ended by asking 
themselves what they came into the wilderness to see. 
The essence of the speech again was easy to bandy about, 
Lord Rosebery being a master of phrases. He besought 
the Liberal party to " wipe its slate clean " in certain 
respects, and consider very carefully what it was going 
to write upon it in future. The " clean slate " was a chilly 
metaphor for a December gathering ; and provoked the 
reflection that Lord Rosebery's own slate had never been 
remarkable for any bold inscriptions. The Chesterfield 
speech rapidly fell back into a mere bid for a Centre Party. 



IN 1902 the national life, after the distortions of the 
last few years, began to shape itself again. In one 
sense, with all the excitement of the coronation, and 
the King's serious illness on the very eve of the ceremony, 
this could not be called a normal year. Yet below these 
incidents the currents of national affairs began to return to 
habitual channels. The uneasy search for new methods of 
efficiency largely subsided ; the Ministry and the Ministerial 
party were not always being nagged at for slackness ; the 
Liberals, though still deeply divided, found more common 
ground than for years past, and grew less assiduous in 
duelling with one another. Finally, the war at last came 
to an end ; and people found themselves free to confess 
weariness of penny trumpets and peacocks' feathers 
without being labelled " Pro-Boers." 

The man whose life had been spent in the making of a 
united South Africa did not live to see the close of the war. 
Cecil Rhodes died on 26th March. He was not yet fifty 
years old, but he had deeply impressed himself on his 
generation. The earlier conception of the quiet mysterious 
financier in Disraeli's novels, pulling the strings of courts 
and cabinets, had given place before Rhodes's stubborn 
figure to the financier creating continents in the light of 
day. It was remarked as one of his prominent character- 
istics that he " cordially disliked the purely parliamentary 
type of man " * ; and he preferred to have as his fulcrum 
the business community, and the general public's con- 

1 The Times, 2?th March 1902. 


fidence. He had small charm, but an extraordinary power 
of impressing people. So wide was this faculty that men 
as different as the German Emperor, Lord Rosebery 
and General Gordon all believed in him profoundly. 
The greater part of his enormous fortune he placed by his 
will in the hands of trustees, a sum amounting to nearly 
two millions, for the income to be applied to a system of 
scholarships designed to bring England and the colonies, 
America, and Germany into a better understanding of one 
another. Sixty scholarships at Oxford of 300 a year 
each were to go to young men in the colonies, twenty-four 
of them to be from South Africa. Two scholarships were 
allotted to each of the United States ; and fifteen to 
Germany of 250 a year each. The total endowment was 
51,750 a year, for 170 scholarships. The scholars were 
to be chosen, not merely for intellectual attainments, but 
also with regard to general good-fellowship and bodily 
activity. At the same time 100,000 were bequeathed 
to Rhodes's own college of Oriel, with the stipulation that 
his trustees were to be consulted about the spending 
of it, since dons lived remote from the world, and were 
" children in commercial matters." It was a will that 
struck resoundingly upon the impulse towards efficiency ; 
and resoundingly too upon the new admiration for the 
colonies and the men they turned out. 

Parliament went unusually early to work, meeting in 
the middle of January. The Government seemed to 
have reformed its ideas of a session's business, and the 
programme was energetic ; it included an Education Bill, 
aiming at no less than a reconstruction of the system of 
control ; a Licensing Bill ; an Irish Land Purchase Bill ; 
and a London Water Bill. At moments in the early 
months of the year the Liberal party appeared to be 
hardly in better condition than before. Lord Rosebery's 
Chesterfield speech was still reverberating ; and the 
expectation that he intended to remain in the open, and 


active in politics, seemed to promise a conclusive struggle 
for leadership, and some definition of official Liberalism. 
Even the prospect of conclusive struggle was more healthy 
and natural than the uncertain swayings of the past two or 
three years. The conflict was at any rate fairly openly 
declared when, in February, the National Liberal 
Federation professed its loyalty to Sir Henry Campbell- 
Bannerman, applauding his determination not to clean 
the slate ; and Lord Rosebery immediately announced his 
"definite separation" from Sir Henry. He followed this 
by founding the Liberal League, an organisation rather 
adroitly described by its nickname of " the Liberal 
Imps " ; Lord Rosebery's purpose was better served by 
using only the adjective " Liberal," but the league con- 
sisted of those who had classed themselves during the war 
as Liberal Imperialists. Mr Asquith, in a communication 
to his constituents, stated that the members of the league 
did not regard themselves as a body outside the party, 
but meant to stay inside ; he also made it clear that 
Home Rule was one of the items to be cleaned off the 
slate. The league started with some notable men in it, 
men who could not be conceived of as absent from the 
next Liberal Ministry. It was no wonder, therefore, that 
the common belief should be that the Liberal Imperialists 
would gradually, but finally, take charge of the party, 
forcing Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman either into their 
attitude, or out of leadership. He, however, showed no 
sign of being easily disposed of. He whipped up his 
own supporters, took his line firmly against Lord Rose- 
bery, and surprised everybody by the imperturbability 
with which he confronted alike the slashing attacks of 
Mr Chamberlain and the open disagreement of his neigh- 
bours on the Front Opposition Bench. In truth, he had 
no need to make way for another leader. The Liberal 
League might gather to itself notable names ; but what 
would Lord Rosebery, Mr Asquith, Sir Edward Grey, Sir 


Henry Fowler and Mr Haldane represent to the Radical 
working men when the emotions of the war died out ? 
Even as things stood, 123 members went into the Opposition 
lobby on a war amendment to the Address. The session 
was not three months old before the Liberal fortunes had 
taken a turn which showed that those who proposed to 
label themselves by an attitude arising out of the war 
alone had forgotten a very old-established line of division 
between parties outside the House. The Education Bill 
was introduced in March. It set up one form of local 
authority for elementary, secondary and technical educa- 
tion, the authority to be a committee of the town or 
county council together with co-opted members. It was 
to be the rating authority for educational purposes, and 
in the allocation of funds the voluntary schools were 
to rank with board schools. This abolition of school 
boards was not received without regret ; the boards had 
done good work, had acquired experience and wisdom, 
and had been wholly free from corruption. At the same 
time, however, the unification of the whole system was 
a gain ; the " educational ladder " was made more 
practicable of ascent ; vexed questions of what school 
boards could or could not do would be at an end ; and 
education would be associated with the general activities 
of local life. But the case of the voluntary schools 
instantly aroused controversy. The argument that, if 
they received public funds, they must surrender private 
management, returned in force. How great the struggle 
was to be no one fully foresaw. 1 In a month it had 
developed on a large scale. The Government had indeed 
challenged fundamentally the Nonconformists' objection 
to the use of local rates for the support of denominational 
schools. The provision that representation was to be 
given to the local authority among the managers of such 

1 For instance The Manchester Guardian at first welcomed the 
Bill without any hint of sectarian controversy. 


schools did not conciliate the Nonconformists. The 
Government admitted that a dual system of management 
was not ideal ; but it existed, and it was not going to be 
allowed to interfere with the general unification. Secular 
education the only method that could give complete 
uniformity, since churchmen objected as much to colour- 
less religious instruction under the Cowper-Temple com- 
promise, as Nonconformists objected to definite Church 
instruction was not agreeable to the majority of the 
country ; and Mr Chamberlain was the mouthpiece of this 
conviction, the more effectively because he had himself 
once been an advocate of secular education. The power 
of the local authority to appoint as many as one-third 
of the managers of a voluntary school would, it was 
agreed, be enough to ensure that the school buildings 
were adequate and in proper repair, and that other 
than religious education was not unduly narrowed. 
But a meeting of the Council of the Evangelical Free 
Churches in April made nothing of such arguments. 
Dr Clifford called for another Cromwell ; Mr Hugh Price 
Hughes fulminated against " this infamous new Church 
rate " ; and the realities of the Bill were obscured by a 
violent sectarian storm. The Order paper became 
choked with amendments ; clauses were fought word by 
word. It might have seemed that the House of Commons 
really needed some such obstinate fighting, for both sides 
grew rapidly the better for it. Ministerialists had to be 
more diligent in attendance ; the Opposition found itself 
reunited in the division lobbies ; and, though the de- 
bating was sharp, there were fewer of the contemptuous 
recriminations that had become common. 

The Ministry's programme of legislation was not, 
however, the first point of interest in the session. That 
was found rather hi Mr Balfour's new rules of procedure. 
The main object of them was to reserve more of the time 
of the House for Government business. This was in 


future to occupy all sittings except the evening sittings 
on Tuesday and Wednesday after the dinner-hour, and 
the short day of the week on which the House met at 
noon ; after Easter, Government business was also to 
occupy Tuesday evening, and after Whitsuntide the 
Wednesday evening as well. The growth of the habit 
of week-ending was shown in another rule providing that 
the early sitting should be on Friday, instead of on 
Wednesday. Debates on the first reading of Bills were 
abolished ; and it was ordered that first readings should 
be a mere formality, unless, in the case of a Government 
Bill, the minister in charge wished to make a short 
explanatory speech, in which case he was to be allowed 
ten minutes, but no debate was to arise. Naturally 
there were lamentations over the vanishing prerogatives 
of the private member ; but on the whole the new rules 
made an easier passage than had been expected. If the 
private member lost much on the one hand, he had gained 
a little by the earlier hours of meeting which had been 
established of recent years. In the long sitting from 
2.80 P.M. to 7.30 P.M. there was more time for the 
lesser lights of the House to make speeches ; and it was 
thought that young members advanced more quickly to a 
reputation. 1 

There were wry faces when the time came for the 
Budget. The revenue had not done badly. The last 
quarter of 1901 showed a return of three and a half 
millions more than the last quarter of 1900 ; and the 
financial year ended with the receipts a little over the 
estimate. Sir Michael Hicks-Beach had budgeted for 
one hundred and forty-two and a half millions, 
and he received one hundred and forty-three millions. 
But the Budget must be another War Budget, with 
another war deficit ; and the worst of the problem was 
that indirect taxation had been by now strained rather 
1 See Punch, ''- Essence of Parliament," i8th June 1902. 


hard. The Chancellor of the Exchequer believed that the 
limit of profitable taxation had been reached on spirits ; 
the consumption of both spirits and beer was falling ; 
and indeed in every direction consumption appeared to 
be rather at a standstill. The Budget anticipated an 
income of one hundred and forty-seven and three quarter 
millions, and a deficit of forty-five and a hah* millions. 
Another loan of thirty-five millions was issued ; and to 
raise the balance a penny more was put on the income-tax, 
the tea and sugar duties were raised, and a shilling duty 
was placed on imported corn and flour. Much more 
would probably have been heard about the last-named 
tax if the Chancellor of the Exchequer had not also 
proposed to raise the duty on cheques to twopence. 
This roused so much opposition that in the end, after 
several proposals for mitigation and rebates, the impost 
was withdrawn. The corn-tax was also helped by the 
protestations of the Government that it was only a 
" registration duty," and strictly a war-tax, not intended 
to be permanent. Even so, it became one more bond 
of possible union on the Liberal side. The Cobden Club 
woke to the old cry of the Corn Laws ; and there was 
plenty to do in warning the country that taxes were not 
so easily taken off as put on. Mr Chamberlain was 
already speaking again about an Imperial Zollverein, 
and the corn-tax would be a useful item to bargain with. 
The Opposition recorded their hostility to the tax, and 
the Finance Bill had some stormy moments before it 
became law. Its last days in the Commons were ingen- 
iously designed to coincide with the approach of the 
coronation, when a little matter like a shilling corn-duty 
was not likely to take public attention, least of all since 
the approach of the coronation itself coincided with the 
long looked-for declaration of peace, and therefore the 
end of war budgets. 
Lord Kitchener had been firmly pursuing his method 


of sweeping operations between lines of block -houses. 
A constant trickle, both of prisoners of war and burghers 
who came in to surrender, resulted. Some sixty different 
columns were operating in the Transvaal and the Orange 
River Colony, varying in number from 200 men to 
2000 ; and the columns worked generally in groups. 
The Boer commandos were under three principal 
leaders : Louis Botha, De Wet and Delarey. Small 
garrisons here and there were constantly attacked, 
convoys were struck at, the railways cut and trains blown 
up. Occasionally the Boers united suddenly into con- 
siderable forces, and captured guns and set the British 
newspapers to printing casualty lists of fifty and sixty 
killed. But the British had learned much by this time. 
Even the regiments of yeomanry, of which Lord Kitchener 
had had to complain, were acquiring skill and craft ; 
and no Boer successes had any effects upon the final 
course of the operations. For many months past the 
war despatches had contained almost as many names 
of new troops as of the familiar old ones. Canadians, 
Australians, New Zealanders and South Africans were 
in nearly all the columns. Vigorously though hostilities 
were proceeding, strong as the Boers could yet show 
themselves to be at times, a sense of nearing the end was 
given by the commencement of civil reorganisation in 
South Africa in January. Depression at home had 
passed away ; for whatever our occasional reverses might 
be, the main current of the war set steadily in an un- 
mistakable direction. Commando after commando was 
broken up, and turned into mere batches of prisoners, 
seventy, a hundred or a hundred and fifty at a time. 
When in February Mr Chamberlain went to the Guildhall 
to receive the freedom of the City of London, he seemed 
to be very near his zenith. Popular at home, better 
known in other parts of the empire than any British 
statesman before him, he had gained greatly and lost 


nothing by the war. Whatever blunders there had been, 
none were attributed to him. He gained even by these. 
Popular f eeling had to have its idol ; it could not find one 
in Lord Salisbury, remote and dignified ; in Mr Balf our, 
a shade too cool and impenitent even in the eyes of his 
followers ; in Lord Lansdowne or Mr Brodrick, who had 
to bear on their shoulders all the War Office failures. So 
idolisation turned to Mr Chamberlain. It did not, of 
course, turn merely by exclusion of others . Mr Chamberlain 
had all along been the prominent figure ; and his ever- 
ready and ever-vigorous defences of his policy, his slashing 
ways of dealing with critics, either of himself or of his 
colleagues, the irrepressible energy with which he flung 
himself into every debate on the war, into public meetings 
on the war, above all into the election on the war, had 
naturally attached to his person all the " patriotic " 
enthusiasm. That the state of the War Office might 
have been a consideration to him before he pressed his 
policy quite so far that he might have been a little 
more sure of the machinery before he put it in motion 
this was no blot upon his position. Nor was the fact that 
slashing oratory is a dangerous intruder into foreign 
politics. He had arrived at the happy situation in which 
the negative side is only put into words by political 

Now, as he drove to the Guildhall amid cheering crowds, 
he was on the crest of a wave which was not allowed to 
break ineffectually. Before the end of March it was known 
that the Boers who were still acting as a Transvaal Govern- 
ment, Schalk Burger, Reitz and others, had appeared at 
Middleburg, and asked to be forwarded to Pretoria to 
interview Lord Kitchener. From this time on there were 
constant rumours of peace, which became really excited 
when it was known that the redoubtable De Wet and 
Delarey, with Steyn, had also appeared at British outposts, 
in this case at Klerksdorp, and had been in conference with 


the Trans vaalers. When the whole party moved to Pretoria, 
on llth April, hopes ran high ; and there was a readiness 
to be patient when it was announced a week later that 
the Boer leaders had gone back to the commandos to take 
counsel with them. A month passed, but the fighting 
now was very desultory. Two delegates had been chosen 
by each commando in the field, and the whole lot, number- 
ing sixty-four, met at Vereeniging on 15th May, with the 
leaders and so many of the people of political importance 
in the late republics as were still in the two territories. 
There was another fortnight's delay, broken in England by 
occasional intimations which seemed to point in the right 
direction. On 22nd May it was announced that Lord 
Milner had gone to Pretoria to be ready to meet the Boer 
leaders. On 23rd May there was a Cabinet Council, and 
the hope was that it had been called to consider a settle- 
ment of terms. Practical certainty seemed to have arrived 
with Mr Balfour's statement in the House of Commons on 
30th May, a Friday, that he " hoped to be able to make 
an announcement on Monday." Before Monday came 
England had the most welcome news : peace had been 
signed at Pretoria on the Saturday night, and the fact had 
been made public on the Sunday evening. The announce- 
ment was posted at the War Office at five o'clcok, and at 
six o'clock a huge streamer bearing the words " Peace is 
Proclaimed " was hung across the pillars of the Mansion 
House f aade. On the Colonial Office the flag was hoisted ; 
but, as it was Sunday, no other public building showed 
this signal. The fact that it was Sunday did not, however, 
prevent the rejoicings of a crowd larger than any that had 
gathered since Mafeking night. This time there had been 
general expectation of the news, and many people had 
mustered in the centre of London on the chance ; 
again, as the news spread, thousands came in from the 
suburbs. The scenes were the more unusual because, 
there being no shops and no theatres open, the light was 


more subdued than on a weekday, and the crowds surged 
more blackly over the roadways. Instead of the familiar 
Sunday hush of the City, there was a perpetual diffused 
clamour, the sound of songs, the squeak of toy trumpets 
and the rolling mutter of innumerable voices. Yet even 
those who came upon the commotion unexpectedly knew 
instantly its meaning. 

For that night the simple fact was enough. Next 
morning the newspapers gave the terms of peace. The 
principal were : that the Boers acknowledged themselves 
subjects of the King, and laid down their arms ; that the 
prisoners taking the oath of allegiance should be returned 
to their homes as soon as possible ; that military govern- 
ment should speedily be succeeded by civil government, 
and ultimately by self-government ; that, while English 
was to be the official language, Dutch should be taught in 
the schools, and allowed in the courts ; that Boers should 
be permitted to own rifles on taking out licences ; that 
no special tax should be imposed on the territories ; and 
that assistance should be given for repatriating the exiled 
Boers, the British Government making a gift of three 
millions to hasten resettlement on the farms. The terms 
were conclusive ; British territory now stretched without 
question from Cape Town to the Zambesi a single South 
Africa. It had been won at the cost, on our side, of two 
and a half years of fighting, 20,000 lives, and over 
two hundred millions of money. On the Boer side the 
cost was never so definitely known ; but Botha at 
Vereeniging had spoken of 3800 Boers killed, and over 
31,000 taken prisoner. Some 20,000 now surrendered on 
the signature of peace. This came as a rather startling 
surprise to Englishmen who had spoken of the war as a 
mere trifle nine months earlier, and gave a new sense of 
what Lord Kitchener's task had been. 

Nothing now remained to cloud the coming coronation. 
Indeed, it must be admitted that the war, even if prolonged, 


could hardly have clouded it, so keen were the interest 
and the anticipation. This was to be such a coronation 
as no monarch ever had. The British Empire, as it 
stood, had practically come into existence since the last 
coronation. The colonies then had been distant, thinly 
populated for the most part, comparatively poor ; now 
they were great countries, with premiers and ministers to 
represent them in Westminster Abbey, and troops to 
take their place among the forces of the Crown. India 
had then been a trading territory administered by a 
company. Communication had now grown so quick and 
easy that there was not a single small Crown colony which 
could not take its part in the coronation. So there 
mustered in London during May and June such an as- 
semblage of dominion and power as had never in the 
world's history been witnessed. Camps sprang up in 
the parks, and alien regiments dwelt in the tents. Thus 
at Hampton Court were gathered soldiers of the Indian 
Empire Sikhs, Goorkhas, Rajputs, with sentries on duty 
over cooking places lest the shadow of an infidel should 
defile the meat of the faithful. At Alexandra Park 
Colonial troops camped in their expert fashion, covering 
the slopes with their khaki and slouch hats. In Kensing- 
ton Gardens and Hyde Park the turf was scored with the 
lines of the British regulars and volunteers ; and Londoners 
never wearied of gazing at the streets of tents, the long 
rows of picketed horses, the parked waggons and guns. 
Elsewhere gathered the strangest regiments of all, 
Hausas from West Africa ; Chinese from Singapore ; 
Malays ; and Fiji police, their bushes of hair coloured 
with yellow earth. 

In June too began to arrive the great personages who 
were to represent the Empire. Premiers came from the 
self-governing colonies, to be greeted with all the popular 
enthusiasm for the work of Colonial troops in the war ; 
and governors from the Crown colonies. Maharajahs and 


princes from India, some of them already well known in 
London, others here for the first time, dazzled drawing- 
rooms with the clicking glitter of their ropes and tassels 
and gorgets of jewels. One great maharajah, whose 
caste was so precious that none of his line had ever yet 
left India, landed at Tilbury Docks with row upon row 
of huge brass pots filled with soil of India and water of 
the Ganges. Lastly, two overwhelming days brought to 
Victoria Station the representatives of foreign powers, 
and special trains disgorged a royal personage at every six 
feet of the platform. King Edward had taken a holiday 
in the spring, yachting on the south-west coast, and 
visiting Cornwall and the Scilly Islands. He had since 
been keeping fairly quiet ; but in June he had begun his 
own part in the celebrations by attending a great review 
at Aldershot. There was some concern when it was seen 
that on the next day, Sunday, he was not present at 
church parade, and it was announced that he was confined 
to his room, suffering from lumbago caused by a chill. 
Rumours as to his health, which followed, were roundly 
denied ; but when, on 23rd June, he arrived in London with 
the Queen, none who saw him make the brief passage from 
the railway saloon to the carriage in which he was conveyed 
to the palace could be quite content with the official 
denials. The King obviously leaned heavily on his stick, 
and he looked pale and unlike his kindly, gracious self. 
London as a whole only saw him seated in the carriage. 
Yet even those who had seen some cause for anxiety had 
seen none for alarm. The news published on the morning 
of 24th June came like a bomb. Not only was the King 
ill, but he was so seriously ill that the surgeons had had 
to perform immediately an operation for perityphlitis. 
The coronation was postponed. The operation had been 
successful, but for the present the surgeons could say no 
more. With his courage and his dislike of disappointing 
his people, the King had struggled on in the hope of being 


able to bear the fatigue of the coronation. Now the 
decorations and the mustered troops and the splendid 
strangers were left unnoticed behind the backs of the 
crowds that grew and melted and grew again all day long 
in front of the palace railings, whereon hung the small red 
boards with the white bulletins upon them. For five days 
the gravest uncertainty lasted. Then on 29th June it was 
announced that the King's life was no longer in danger. 

The royal guests from abroad had gone back. But 
there was now the prospect of a coronation once more, 
and the troops of the empire were to wait in London for it. 
It became an amusement again to walk the decorated 
streets. Not that these showed much of originality or 
fineness in design ; the most original thing, the Canadian 
Arch in Whitehall, with its masses of wheat and apples 
and its tinselly cupolas, strung with electric lights of an 
evening, was not beautiful, and soon became tiresome. 
By the King's wish all the celebrations that could go 
forward were carried out : the festivities in the towns and 
villages, and the King's dinner to the poor, and the 
Queen's tea to general servants. In July the King was 
well enough to go to Cowes for final recuperation. 

By that time there had been some shifting of the figures 
that would play a prominent part in the coronation. For 
one thing, Lord Kitchener would now be at home in time 
for it. He reached London on 12th July, with his new 
honours of a viscounty, the rank of General, and a grant 
of 50,000 ; and was met at Paddington by the Prince of 
Wales, with whom he drove to luncheon at St James's 
Palace. General French and General Ian Hamilton came 
to London in his company. But it was Lord Kitchener 
that the crowds came out to see ; and more than ever they 
cheered the grave man, his blue eyes so light in the deep 
bronze of his face that they looked like the eyeballs of a 

A greater change was caused by the fact that, on 13th 


July, Lord Salisbury resigned the premiership. " The 
last great statesman of the Victorian era " * was not, after 
all, to stand as Prime Minister at the coronation of King 
Edward. Mr Balfour succeeded him. It was a natural 
and inevitable succession ; yet it can hardly have taken 
place in this quiet, simple fashion without affording Mr 
Chamberlain food for thought. No man stood so much 
in the public eye as he did. He had just come to the 
success of the greatest venture on which the country had 
ever been embarked by one man. The Conservative 
party at the crisis had really hung upon his power with 
the populace. There must have seemed to him to be some- 
thing impenetrable and almost uncanny in the inability 
to make the final step to power. Mr Balfour had to carry 
out some reconstruction of the Ministry. Sir Michael 
Hicks -Beach resigned the Exchequer, and was succeeded by 
Mr Ritchie ; Mr Austen Chamberlain became Postmaster- 
General ; and Lord Dudley Lord Lieutenant of Ireland ; 
Sir John Gorst gave up the Board of Education (an act 
which in the middle of the Education Bill's career could 
only be interpreted as a confession of failure), and was 
succeeded by Sir William Anson. 

On 6th August the King returned to London, strong and 
debonair, the King that everyone knew so well by sight, 
and not the worn figure of two months earlier. On the 
9th he was crowned in Westminster Abbey. No detail of 
the day, from the troops in the procession to the symbol- 
ism of the garments he wore for the solemnity, from the 
night-long vigil of the crowd to the preparations in the 
Abbey, was too small for record in the newspapers. And 
when the King and Queen returned from the Abbey, even 
a crowd that already loved to label itself " Twentieth 
Century " in its advancement and sophistication, thrilled 
at the spectacle of a King and Queen actually wearing 
great crowns. 

1 The Times, i4th July 1902; 


One more occasion remained for excitement. The 
reviews and parades of the Indian and Colonial contingents 
took place in Buckingham Palace Gardens, and so were 
witnessed only by the privileged. But the Naval Review, 
though it suffered in some respects from the postponement, 
was for all to see. It happened to coincide with the arrival 
in England of the three most prominent leaders of the 
Boers in the field during the past two years : Botha, De 
Wet and Delarey. As they came up the Solent in the 
early morning of 16th August they passed the ends of the 
long lines of warships, a whole world of the power of 
England that they had hardly come in contact with at all. 
Lord Kitchener went on board their ship to meet them, 
and conveyed them to another ship on which Mr Chamber- 
lain and Lord Roberts had embarked for the review. They 
were introduced to Mr Chamberlain and Lord Roberts, 
and were then invited to remain and see the review. They 
declined, and went on to London. There they must have 
been as puzzled by the spirit that met them as perhaps 
they had been by the invitation on the moment of landing 
to stay and witness alongside Mr Chamberlain a display 
of the power and wealth of their conquerors. Even 
without bearing grudges or malice, these three grave burly 
men must have felt London remote from seriousness, 
when staring easy-minded crowds ran to cheer them in the 
streets, and shout after them words of patronising admira- 
tion. What, they may have asked themselves, was the 
nature of a country which could sit so lightly to five and 
fifty months of war that the men who had strained her to 
the utmost were no more to her than new toys ? When the 
three failed to respond with equally facile smiles and bows, 
the public, chilled in its gratified sense of openhanded 
cancelling of bygones, began to ask contemptuously if the 
three fighting men were going to throw in a sullen and 
resentful lot with Mr Kruger and Dr Leyds. It was the 
old habit of swinging from mood to mood. The generals 


went over to Rotterdam almost immediately, returning to 
London later on for consultations with Mr Chamberlain 
and Lord Kitchener at the Colonial Office on the resettle- 
ment of the conquered territories. 

A great many people in England resented the senti- 
mentalism of the London crowd, and would have 
sympathised with the Boer generals' feelings. Though the 
cry for efficiency was thrust into the background by the 
excitements of the year, the movement went on. Mr 
Kipling flung his reputation into it, in a way that almost 
lost him his popularity, He published in January a poem 
called The Islanders, full of scorn for a people that preferred 
games and sport to equipping itself for war, that boasted 
of empire, but made no personal effort to preserve it. 
One line in the poem, " flannelled fools at the wicket, or 
muddied oafs at the goals," was all that it was necessary 
to remember ; it contained the heart of his reproach, and 
also the deeply resented scornfulness of tone. Englishmen 
were by this time a little wearied of the admirable example 
of the colonies and of Colonial troops. Yet it was no 
wonder if a man with a gift for picturesque expression 
found himself impelled to make use of it. The war seemed 
now to have made so little difference ; and those who had 
expected a national regeneration looked round in despair. 
They saw the rich overwhelmed by a positive mania for 
bridge ; the guardsman or cavalryman, when he came 
home from campaigning, seemed to make a point of picking 
life up casually just where he had left off, sitting down to 
take a hand of an afternoon, or a morning, or an evening, 
just as if there was no Empire. More infuriating still to 
the strenuous was the mania for ping-pong, a sort of table 
tennis, which, beginning with the middle class, had spread 
upwards with astonishing rapidity, and devastated evening 
parties. Even in its patriotic manifestations the crowd 
exasperated the searchers for efficiency. On the one 
hand it could not even produce a passable comic song for 


pavement use (we are hardly now able to recall the feeble 
idiocy of " We'll all be merry on Coronation Day ") ; and 
on the other hand it could not rejoice without bringing to 
the surface a lot of wastrel youths, who in other countries 
would have been undergoing their period of military 

The attack on the trade unions continued no less 
vigorously. They were charged with limiting output 
(on the " Ca' canny " principle), and articles appeared 
contrasting the number of bricks a man could lay in a 
day with the number of bricks a trade unionist actually 
would lay. 1 Employers complained that they were 
hampered in tendering for contracts by the stipulations 
which public bodies made for the employment of union 
labour, or the payment of union wages. Public bodies 
replied that they were justified in taking every pre- 
caution against the delaying of contracts by strikes. 
Again, employers fell under criticism for inefficiency in 
their relations with their men ; they did not encourage new 
ideas, or do anything to make the workmen take a living 
interest in the business. They aimed at altering trade 
union law, instead of defending themselves by combina- 
tion and a system of profit-sharing with their workmen. 
But no one offered any suggestion based on the truth of 
the new situation which the last fifteen years had brought 
about in industry. Each master had practically, under 
the Limited Liability Acts, become in his own person a 
combination of capital ; and if these combinations were 
to combine, trade unions naturally aimed at a General 
Federation in response. Incidental criticisms cut at 
various angles into the main controversy. Mr John 
Burns defended workmen from the charge of limiting 
output, but told them at the same time that there was 
a good deal in the complaints of their inefficiency, while 
they spent so much health and money in drink and 
1 The Times, loth March 1902; 


gambling. Others complained of the Board of Trade 
Labour Department as a sham, politically one-sided, and 
not trusted by employers as a conciliatory medium. 
Even such a matter as the closing down of the steamer 
service on the Thames was regarded as another piece of 
inefficiency : London had not the sense to make use of 
her river as other capitals did. 

A certain response to criticism of the mind of labour 
was made by the foundation of the Workers' Educational 
Association. This was an attempt to grapple in a new 
way with the difficulty of bringing university education 
within the outlook of the artisan. Ruskin Hall had 
become by this time something more than an experiment. 
But it had not solved the difficulty. For one thing, its 
students showed some tendency to quarrel with the whole 
tone of Oxford education, as a middle-class tone, and to 
wish rather to inform the university than be informed 
by it. Besides, the hall could not accommodate many 
men ; and the time seemed to have come for a new effort. 
The Workers' Educational Association aimed at bringing 
the universities to working people, instead of sending 
working people to the universities. Its purpose was to 
organise extension classes in a more systematic way than 
had hitherto been attempted ; to create a co-operation 
between pupils and lecturers, which should lead to more 
profitable selection of courses of instruction ; to give 
a more deliberate continuity to those courses ; and to 
create between the lecturer and his class in a manufactur- 
ing town a relation more akin to that between tutors and 
pupils in a university. The association received the 
support of trade union leaders, and no less warm support 
from university authorities. For a few years its progress 
was rather slow ; the Intransigeants of Ruskin Hall had 
not ineffectually decried the " orthodox " history and 
economics of university teachers. But the association 
had patient and enthusiastic service behind it ; and 


before the end of our period it numbered over one 
hundred branches and over 3000 students. 

In learning and science we were not doing so badly. The 
founding of the British Academy early in the year was 
an easy subject for jests ; but a roll which included Lord 
Acton, Mr Lecky, Mr Bryce, Mr Balfour, Mr Morley, such 
professors as S. R. Gardiner, Pelham, J. B. Bury, Jebb, 
Robinson Ellis, Bywater, Munro, S. G. Butcher, Dicey, 
Holland and Maitland, and antiquarians like Lord Dillon 
and Mr Arthur Evans, was one worth drawing up, even if 
the British genius might be held not to favour academies. 
Unfortunately one great name was too soon to drop out 
of the roll ; Lord Acton died in July. He had as an 
historian done much to reinstate the infinitely patient 
collection and sifting of evidence ; and his lectures at 
Cambridge were mines generously laid open for the digging 
of others. His own work had a dignity and detachment 
which set as fine an example as his laborious habits of 
research. He had during his life amassed a library of 
the rarest value for such research. He was, however, not 
a rich man, and had been obliged to make preparations 
to sell it. Mr Carnegie stepped in, and bought the whole 
70,000 volumes, leaving them in Lord Acton's hands for 
his life. Now at his death Mr Carnegie requested Mr 
Morley to take the responsibility for it ; and Mr Morley 
found a happy end to the trust by offering the library to 
the university of Cambridge, where it remains as the one 
memorial to Lord Acton which he himself would most 
have wished for. Another member of the Academy, Mr 
Arthur Evans, was just now discovering that very Minoan 
palace at Cnossus which no one had expected him to find. 1 
Professor Dewar and others were making most important 
experiments with gases at extremely low temperatures. 
Nor could there be any complaint about the use of scien- 
tific methods in medical practice. Systematic investiga- 
1 See p. 1161 


tion of cancer had progressed so far that a scheme was 
started for raising a fund of 100,000 for the purpose. 
The treatment of tuberculosis was greatly forwarded by 
King Edward's application of a gift of 200,000 (at first 
anonymous, but soon known to be Sir Edward Cassel's) 
to be spent on a sanatorium. 

The demand for efficiency had begun, simply enough, 
from the contemplation of our scrambling entry upon 
what proved to be a long and complicated war. From 
that, and from the anxiety about hooliganism, grew the 
foundation this year of the National Service League, 
for the advocacy of compulsory military training. But 
another element was now creeping in, and that which had 
begun in our own consciences was kept alive by a spectre 
of more or less hostile rivalry. National feeling between 
England and Germany had taken a disagreeable turn. In 
the previous year it had seemed probable that of all the 
Continental comment on the war, which had been hard to 
bear and bitterly resented, that from Germany would be 
the soonest forgotten. The promptness with which the 
German Emperor acknowledged family claims at Queen 
Victoria's death has been mentioned. 1 The action of 
King Edward in making him a Field-Marshal in the British 
army, and in investing the German Crown Prince with 
the Order of the Garter, had been well received ; and 
more intimate relations between the two countries seemed 
about to be set up. Yet even then comparisons were 
at work between the British and the German navies, of 
a tone sufficiently indicated by the conclusion that the 
question was not one of comparative tons of commerce, 
or pounds sterling of naval expenditure, but one simply of 
Great Britain's security at sea. 2 While the ultimate trend 
of our relations with Germany was still in question, Mr 
Chamberlain made, in November 1901, a speech in which, 

1 See p. 1261 

The Times, 8th February 1901: 


discussing the possibility of our having been too lenient 
in the later stages of hostilities, and too little inclined to 
act on the principle that guerillas were not entitled to the 
honourable provisions of war, he had referred to the Franco- 
German campaign, and the treatment of the francs-tireurs. 
Mr Chamberlain never appeared at his best in his 
references to other nations, and his words provoked an 
outburst of violent replies from Germany. The German 
Chancellor took up Mr Chamberlain's remarks sharply 
in the Reichstag, and other hot speeches followed. This 
was in January 1902 so vigorously had the German 
newspapers kept up their comments. Great projects for 
the extension of the German navy were in the circum- 
stances likely to be used here to raise still more the spectre 
of rivalry. Anything in Mr Brodrick's army schemes 
that had an air of being borrowed from Germany came 
in for sarcastic notice ; and he himself became a butt 
when he went to attend the German manoeuvres with 
Lord Roberts, wearing a yeomanry uniform of khaki. The 
German Emperor was again in England in the autumn, 
staying with Lord Lon?dale, and going to shoot at 
Sandringham. He certainly showed, both by his visit 
and his invitation to Mr Brodrick and Lord Roberts, every 
indication of a desire to override the heated newspaper 

Mr Brodrick and the War Office generally were given 
uncomfortable moments whenever the public had atten- 
tion to spare. The Commission on the War Hospitals 
had reported in 1901, finding that, while the Royal Army 
Medical Corps had done what it could, it was deficient 
in strength, organisation and training, and was imperfectly 
equipped ; it was undermanned and overworked ; and it 
ought to have been provided long ago with a special 
sanitary branch. The Commission on Army Contracts 
was still sitting. Then a fresh storm broke about the 
Remount Department. It had, of course, been known 


to the public in a general way that, even when we had 
learned in South Africa the immense value of mounted 
men, our generals had been unable to put the lesson into 
practice, because they could not get horses quickly, or 
get good ones at all, from the department responsible for 
remolmts. Stories had been current, too, of the pedantic 
requirements of remount officers ; and of horses refused 
for some red-tape reason. Early in the session of 1902 the 
matter suddenly took a more serious turn. In an appar- 
ently innocent debate on some supplementary estimates, 
it was charged against the War Office that a most exten- 
sive " deal " in horses from Hungary had been ludicrously 
mismanaged ; we had paid hundreds of thousands away 
for horses at 35 apiece, which turned out to be next to 
useless, and were known later to have been acquired by 
the dealers for 10 apiece or less. In September a Royal 
Commission was appointed, with sweeping terms of refer- 
ence. It was " to inquire into the military preparations 
for the war in South Africa, and into the supply of men, 
ammunition and equipment, and transport by sea and 
land in connection with the campaign ; and into the 
military operations up to the occupation of Pretoria." 
The commissioners were Lord Elgin, Lord Esher, 
Field-Marshal Sir Henry Norman, Sir George Taubman 
Goldie, Admiral Sir John Hopkins, and two prominent 
men of business, Sir John Edge and Sir John Jackson. 
The public would have preferred a commission with 
rather more men of business on it. But it was 
satisfied with the terms of reference, and the decision 
of the commissioners to sit in private promised a less 
delicate procedure than would have been likely in 

Meanwhile efficiency was at work in the navy. Under 
Lord Selborne a new scheme was set on foot for training 
officers, with due regard to the importance of the machinery 
in a modem ship ; it was intended to procure more inter- 


change and interaction between the executive and the 
engineering branches. 

Uneasiness about our business supremacy received a 
double shock in the autumn, from two great operations 
of American capitalists. One threatened to sweep the 
whole retail tobacco trade into an American trust. There 
had arisen during the year a violent competition between 
American and British tobacco manufacturers for the 
custom of the retailers. The immense spread of cigarette- 
smoking had filled the shops with packets of cheap 
cigarettes ; and it now came out that American firms 
were pushing their goods by offering the retailers bonuses 
in addition to the regular profits. There ensued a 
period of frantic counter-bidding, the bonuses finally 
reaching a figure at which even the biggest manufacturers 
began to quail. But the Americans were combined in a 
trust ; and unless the British combined they must ulti- 
mately be forced into surrender, and join the trust. The 
Imperial Tobacco Company was formed, taking in large 
businesses like Players', Ogden's and Wills's ; and it was 
just in time to save a few other British firms from coming 
under the American trust. Several had already joined 
it. The two trusts came to an agreement, and the bonus 
war ended. The affair would have attracted much less 
attention had it not coincided with a far more colossal 
American stroke. As early as May a debate had arisen in 
the House of Commons in regard to a combination in the 
North American shipping trade. A " pool " had been 
in process of formation, so enormous that it threatened 
to transfer the control of our Atlantic lines by far the 
greater portion of our shipping, and the newest and fastest 
to American hands. What made the case worse was 
that the German Atlantic lines, which the " pool " had 
attempted to draw in, had apparently shown more in- 
dependence in making their terms than our own. Ulti- 
mately the Board of Trade was able to announce that the 


British ships in the combination were to remain under 
British control, and the British flag, and were to carry a 
proportion of British officers and men, as the Government 
might require ; at least half of the new shipping of the 
combination was always to be British ; and the British 
ships were to remain, as before, subject to the British 
Government, and to rights of temporary acquisition by the 
Government. The Cunard Line, which remained outside 
the combination, was to receive a special subsidy of 
150,000 a year, and a loan for building two new fast 
ships. Thus the American deal became a purely trading 
agreement, and the worst of public alarm was soothed. 
But it remained a little humiliating ; and the immense 
amount of the combination's capital, said to be twenty- 
four millions, all found by persons interested, was hardly 

The House met for an autumn session on the Education 
Bill, to find that the restoration of affairs to the old party 
shapes had proceeded swiftly in the recess. There had 
been a tremendous campaign against the Education Bill 
on the Liberal side, and the Nonconformist support of 
the Liberal party had been drastically pulled together. 
Already refusal to pay rates was in the air. On the Tory 
side there was some anxiety, and a disposition to make 
concessions, the chief outcome of which was the Kenyon- 
Slaney amendment, strengthening outside control in the 
management of voluntary schools. But no concessions 
could meet the complete objection of Nonconformists to 
the support of definite Church instruction. So strong was 
the Opposition to the Bill that it was pushed forward 
by severe forms of closure. It became law before the end 
of the year. Thereupon the refusal to pay rates was 
launched as a definite campaign ; and the Act promised to 
continue that process of reuniting Liberals which it had 
already begun. The bond provided by attacks upon it 
had made itself evident injthe summer, when Lord Rose- 


bery had displayed less inclination to criticise publicly 
the Liberal Front Bench ; and Sir Edward Grey had 
intimated that the " clean slate " had not been intended 
to be quite clean. Lord Rosebery had even gone so far 
towards extreme Radicalism as to tell a meeting of 
Nonconformists in December that, if they submitted to 
the Act, they would have ceased to exist politically. They 
happened to lose hi this year two very prominent leaders, 
Dr Joseph Parker and Mr Hugh Price Hughes. The 
former had been a notable preacher, able to gather to the 
City Temple crowds of busy City men on a weekday, as 
well as his congregations of Sunday. The latter had been 
an earnest social worker, but at the same time more active 
in political questions than Dr Parker. He had been the 
most notable Nonconformist to take the side of the war 
party in the recent controversies. Liberal polls at by- 
elections in the late autumn in the Cleveland and East 
Toxteth divisions had been most encouraging. Lastly, 
the debates on the Bill had shown that the Opposition, 
if numerically weak, had fighting power ; Mr Lloyd 
George had greatly consolidated his reputation. 

Besides the Education Bill, the Government passed the 
London Water Bill, setting up a separate body to which 
the water companies' undertakings were to pass. It 
introduced an Irish Land Purchase Bill, enabling land- 
lords to sell their estates whole to the Land Commission, 
if not less than three-quarters of the tenantry wished to 
purchase ; payment was to be by cash, and not in Land 
Stock. The Bill was dropped ; but its appearance tended 
to keep down agitation in Ireland, and after it had 
disappeared the air was full of talk of conferences and 
compromises, one scheme, propounded by Captain 
Shawe-Taylor, even suggesting a conference between Irish 
landlords and Irish tenants. The mere suggestion was a 
far cry from the ideas of twenty years back. 

Another measure of the session was a Licensing Bil|. 


It was not a striking measure ; but Lord Salisbury's 
refusal in 1900 to take any action on the Licensing Com- 
mission's report had given so much offence to leaders of 
Church opinion that, for fear of losing the support of the 
clergy, the Government no doubt decided that it must 
delay no longer. The Bill contained provisions for 
putting clubs under registration ; and for giving the 
justices control of grocers' licences ; and some further 
proposals as to habitual drunkards. The previous year 
had seen the publication of the first report on Certified 
Retreats under the Inebriates Act of 1898 ; and it had 
on the whole been encouraging. But it had spoken of a 
good many relapses ; and an attempt was now made 
to " black list " habitual drunkards, who had been 
committed to retreats, and to forbid publicans to serve 
them with liquor. In truth this year's Bill was hope- 
lessly out of date. Licensing reform, proceeding on 
another route, had left such proposals a long way in the 
rear. The famous Farnham licensing cases, and the 
Birmingham agreements, had become by the autumn of 
1902 the centre of interest. Lord Salisbury, in refusing 
to act on the commission's report, had certainly under- 
estimated the feeling in favour of a reduction of licences. 
This was proved by the movement that now took place 
among the justices. At Farnham there had been the 
extraordinary proportion of one licensed house to every 
124 persons. The licensing justices attempted to 
reduce the number by negotiation ; and when that failed 
they took their stand on the Sharp v. Wakefield decision, 1 
and refused to renew eight licences. The licence-holders 
appealed to Quarter Sessions. In two cases renewal was 
ordered, on certain conditions ; in the other six the 
justices' decision was upheld. In Birmingham, chiefly 
owing to the activity of Mr Arthur Chamberlain, a strong 
reduction movement had also been going on ; but here 
1 See vol. i., p. 271. 


negotiation was more successful. Ninety-nine licences 
were the subject of negotiation, and the brewers agreed 
to surrender fifty-one. In Liverpool also there had been 
reductions, assisted by insurance of licences having been 
in practice here ; and at Nottingham. As so often 
happens in England, local procedure seemed likely to be 
caught up and generalised into a system. The failure 
of the Bill of 1902 to propose anything in the way of 
reduction of licences had strengthened the feeling that 
the justices must act for themselves ; and in the Farn- 
ham cases their action was pretty generally approved. 1 
But brewing firms were not unnaturally alarmed. They 
had only succeeded, by the Farnham appeal, in strengthen- 
ing the justices again. They had raised the question 
whether licensing justices sat as a court of law or as an 
administrative body. The point was important, because, 
if they sat as a court of law, they could only hear evidence 
on cases brought before them ; whereas, sitting as an 
administrative body, they could act entirely on their own 
initiative. The appeal led to the decision that they sat 
purely as an administrative body. 

Another movement which, if less immediately alarm- 
ing to licence-holders, yet showed the wide area of inclina- 
tion towards temperance, was the starting in 1901 of the 
Public House Trust, the object of which was to secure 
licences on a principle of disinterested management. 
No profit was looked for beyond a sum sufficient to pay 
five per cent, on the capital invested ; so that there need 
be no encouragement to drinking. More money would 
go to improving the amenities of the houses, and tea and 
other such drinks were to be kept as much in the foreground 
as intoxicating liquors. The trust, which was headed by 
Lord Grey, was organised by counties, and was already 
drawing to itself much of the moderate opinion on licensing 

1 See The Times, 4th October 1902. 


The end of the year was overcast by a depression of trade 
and a grave lack of employment. Wages had been falling 
generally ; and the metal, shipbuilding and engineering 
trades especially were on a down-grade for the first time 
since 1894. 1 The return of reservists from the war added 
to the distress ; and the whiter opened badly. Nor was 
peace much less costly for the moment than war. In 
November Parliament had voted eight millions of money 
for South Africa, three as a free gift to repatriated Boers, 
two in aid of distressed loyalists in the old colonies, and 
three for loans to be used in the organisation of the new 
colonies. Before the end of the year 21,000 prisoners of 
war had been returned, and the numbers in the concen- 
tration camps had fallen from 103,000 to 34,000. But 
the disastrous disturbance caused by the war was only 
slowly revealing its extent ; and it seemed likely that 
more money would be called for. Everything possible 
was done to hasten the transport of machinery to reopen 
the Rand mines after their three years of idleness ; but 
here the difficulty which had made its appearance two 
years earlier grew formidable. In August the proposal 
to meet the shortage of labour for the mines by importing 
Chinese began to be discussed. It was at first coldly 
received. The mine-owners were told that the Kaffir 
problem was serious enough, without being complicated 
by a Chinese problem. The other colonies, which had 
done so much to make the Rand British territory, were 
angrily amazed at a proposal to import the very kind 
of coolie labour which they had all made up their minds 
to shut out. White labourers out of work complained 
bitterly of the refusal to employ them, although Mr 
Cresswell, the manager of the Village Main Reef mine, 
asserted that 250 white men would do the work of 900 
Kaffirs ; the suspicion was that the objection to white 
men was their proneness to join trade unions. As for the 
1 Board of Trade Report on Wages, published 29th August 1902; 


Kaffirs, the mine-owners declared that labour-recruiting 
among them was tiresome and unsatisfactory. For the 
time being, however, the question fell into abeyance, 
because it was announced in October that Mr Chamberlain 
was proposing to visit South Africa, and study on the spot 
all the problems rising out of the war. The King gave 
his approval ; the Good Hope, a new armoured cruiser 
just in commission, was placed at Mr Chamberlain's 
service ; and he started off almost in state. He may 
well have been glad to leave the Education Bill behind 
him ; but events were to show that he dropped out of 
more than the Education Bill. 


THE next year opened in a rather sober mind. 
Trade was giving signs of slight recovery, especially 
in iron and steel and textiles ; but it was too slight 
to be exhilarating as yet. The revenue showed lowered 
consuming power. The stock markets remained under 
a cloud ; for the failure of the Whittaker Wright com- 
panies, occurring, as it did, just when the war would in 
any case have caused a shortage of money for speculation, 
had proved to be even more disastrous than was antici- 
pated. It was now two years since the first announcement 
of failure. Nearly twelve months had been spent on 
investigating the affairs of the London & Globe Finance 
Corporation alone, before the Official Receiver could 
issue even his first report. There were two other principal 
companies and some minor ones to be investigated ; and 
as another twelve months passed it became increasingly 
clear that the position of the shareholders was extremely 
bad. The financial operations between the various com- 
panies were far too complicated for the ordinary person 
to follow ; but there were City men fully convinced that 
these operations had been of a kind that should bring 
Mr Whittaker Wright to the dock. Shareholders were 
ready enough to accept this view ; and during 1902 there 
had been constant expressions of indignation at the 
inaction of the Public Prosecutor. Finally, a private 
committee of City men was formed, and a prosecution 
fund of 5000 was raised. When Parliament met, one 
more attempt was made to move the law authorities 


of the Crown ; but both the Attorney-General and the 
Solicitor-General remained of the opinion that the 
materials for a prosecution were inadequate. The 
difficulty of tracking out exactly what had happened 
was so extreme that a prosecution might break down on 
some technical point ; and in that case more harm than 
good would have been done, since the suggestion would 
have been conveyed that financial juggling, if only 
sufficiently complicated, and on large enough scale, 
could be practised with immunity. However, the 
prosecution committee had seven good legal opinions on 
their side. They made application in the regular way to 
the High Court, and early in March Mr Justice Buckley 
ordered the Official Receiver to prosecute Mr Whittaker 
Wright. These were not events calculated to assist the 
speculative spirit in the city ; and the Stock Exchange 
felt no breath of better times. 

The nation fingered ruefully its already lean pocket 
when telegrams came from South Africa reporting 
promises made by Mr Chamberlain out there. Speaking 
at Johannesburg, on 18th January, he informed his 
audience that the British Government would undertake 
a loan of thirty-five millions, floated with the Govern- 
ment's guarantee, and secured on the assets of the Trans- 
vaal and the Orange River Colony. It would be spent 
in paying off the debts of the late republics, in expropriat- 
ing the existing railways, and building new ones, and 
in forwarding land settlement. True, Mr Chamberlain 
announced at the same time that the Transvaal would 
pay thirty millions towards the cost of the war, ten of 
them being subscribed by leading financiers, and the 
remaining twenty placed on the market. But this was 
regarded as a rather illusory contribution. The net up- 
shot of the whole transaction was that fifty-five millions 
more would be dumped upon a market longing to be free 
of those masses of national stock, and to return to flutters 


of its own. Meanwhile daily processions of the un- 
employed, carrying collecting-boxes, in the London 
streets did not look like any immediate return of trade 

Parliament reassembled without much expectation 
of renewal of the great contests of the previous year. 
The Education Act was to be extended by a separate Bill 
to London. That admiration for the school boards which 
had been quick to express itself on the introduction of 
the Bill of 1902 was even stronger in this particular case ; 
the London Board had been in old days the one really 
efficient form of local government that London could 
boast, and of recent years it had been in the forefront of 
education. But it could not be left an exception to a 
universal scheme ; and the Opposition could not fight 
a subordinate measure as keenly as they had fought the 
general principle. Moreover, the battle was now raging 
outside Parliament, and the real progress of the cause of the 
Opposition was in the country. Refusal of rates, " passive 
resistance " to the Bill l was in full cry ; and the 
Government would clearly have to face the odium of 
prosecutions which could be represented as persecutions 
of conscience. Besides the London Education Bill the 
measures expected during the session were a Port of 
London Bill and, as the great item, an Irish Land Purchase 
Bill. A Royal Commission had reported on the Port of 
London in 1902, recommending the establishment of a 
public authority ; but no proposal was made in this year, 
and in fact the subject was to wait for five years before 
it was undertaken. The Irish Land Purchase Bill pro- 
mised a good passage. There had actually been a con- 
ference in Dublin, though not quite of the kind projected 

1 This phrase did not appear now for the first time. Disraeli, 
in Sybil, writes of the possibility of a '' passive resistance 
Jacquerie,"- among the starved and ill-housed peasantry of 


by Captain Shawe-Taylor. 1 Lord Dunraven and Lord 
Mayo had met Mr John Redmond, Mr William O'Brien, 
Mr T. W. Russell, and Mr Harrington ; and the principle 
of the buying-out of owners seemed likely to offer no serious 
difficulties. The only obstacle would be the cost. The 
Bill proposed purchase on a much greater scale than had 
hitherto been attempted, and the question was whether, 
after all the large Government loans of the war time, 
millions could profitably be raised for Ireland. Mr 
Wyndham, the Chief Secretary, put the figure at twelve 
millions ; but it became very clear in the course of the 
debates that this would not be the limit. However, the 
floating of the Transvaal loan was such an unexpected 
success that there was less anxiety as to putting the Irish 
stock on the market when the time should come. 

There seemed to be little opportunity for the Liberals 
to exercise their growing strength. Irish land purchase 
they could hardly oppose ; and it suited them better to 
look on while some of the Irish landlords expressed their 
far from friendly feelings for a Unionist Government 
producing such a Bill. It was simpler to make capital 
out of attacking Mr Brodrick's army schemes. The 
" phantom army corps " had become a public jest ; the 
real army corps were obviously going to cost a great deal 
of money, and increase permanently the Army Estimates. 
Recruiting was being bolstered up by methods not at all 
satisfactory ; the requirements as to height and chest 
measurements had been relaxed, and weedy recruits 
were nicknamed " Brodricks." Reform of details, such 
as changes in the pattern of soldiers' caps, was peculiarly 
open to ridicule, while more important reforms seemed 
to be in suspension. Mr Winston Churchill, who was 
entering on his third session, having been returned as 
Conservative member for Oldham at the 1900 election, 
made himself prominent in these attacks. The question 

1 Seep; 1745 


of labour in the Transvaal mines offered as yet no particu- 
lar foothold to Liberals. It was raised on an amendment 
moved by Sir Charles Dilke to the Consolidated Fund Bill 
at the end of March. By that time Mr Chamberlain was 
at home again, having landed in England on 14th March, 
and he was in his place in the House to deal with the 
question. He had taken a perfectly clear line in a speech 
at Johannesburg in January. He had told the mine- 
owners that there was a strong current of opinion against 
the importation of Chinese labour, both at home and in 
the colonies ; he expressed the belief that the mine-owners 
had not sufficiently worked out the problem, and would 
be well advised to see what could be done, by means of 
improved machinery and the employment of white labour, 
to bridge over the present shortage of black labour. 
Now in the House of Commons he was equally clear about 
the objection of the colonists to Chinese labour. But he 
gave less weight to the objection of the mother country ; 
and implied that, if the colonists most concerned, those 
in South Africa, should change their mind, the Govern- 
ment neither could nor would interfere. However, this 
drew no particular attention. A mass meeting at Johan- 
nesburg protested vigorously against any introduction of 
Asiatics ; and the matter was not seriously regarded. 

The Budget was awaited with flat dreariness. The war 
was over, but its burdens were not. The income-tax 
payer hoped for a little relief, but did not expect much ; 
and, if he got any, what new experiments in broadening 
the basis of taxation might be looked for ? Sir Michael 
Hicks-Beach had been speaking, in his retirement, as if 
the national revenue was rather at a standstill, and yet 
national expenditure of the normal kind could not but 
rise. Where was the necessary resiliency to be found ? 
The revenue returns stood at 633,000 below the estimate ; 
but for the f alling-in during the year of the duties on a great 
millionaire's estate, that of Colonel McCalmont, the figures 


would have been much worse. After all, the Budget was 
better than the forecasts. No less than fourpence was 
taken off the income-tax. Yet Mr Ritchie's arrangements 
for the Sinking Fund were sound enough to please the City, 
and to prevent any appearance of bidding for popularity at 
the cost of prudence. The shilling corn-tax was also taken 
off. There were murmurs from some quarters. A Pro- 
tectionist party was still represented in the House by Mr 
James Lowther and Mr Chaplin ; and their complaints 
about this disregard for continuity in financial policy 
were prompt. Mr Balfour, however, receiving later on a 
deputation representing these views, was quite firm in 
maintaining the official attitude of the moment when the 
tax was imposed that it had been put on for war 
purposes, and had instantly become so much a bone of 
contention that it could not be regarded as a permanent 
item of the country's fiscal policy. He went a good deal 
further when he added that Protection could not possibly 
be introduced into that policy silently, without a distinct 
vote from the country. The corn-tax had been a registra- 
tion duty ; and it was now represented, by certain agri- 
cultural interests, as of value to them. The truth behind 
the disappointment was that Sir Michael Hicks-Beach's 
gloomy views of the limit of elasticity in indirect taxation 
had produced a good deal of discussion of a broadening 
which should even extend to moderate all-round duties. 
This was very largely not a Protectionist but a genuine 
financial theory. It was at least open to argument that 
markets in England were becoming too cheap. In one 
respect, while there were so many unemployed and ill-paid 
workers, living could not be too cheap, But the increase 
of money in circulation had combined with business enter- 
prise, advertisement and competitive transport, to enlarge 
extraordinarily the workman's range of purchase. Tinned 
foods and chilled meat were added to our already cheap 
loaf ; and the great trading stores which had arisen in the 


eighties for the middle classes had been copied in immense 
grocery concerns which by sticking to the stores system of 
cash purchases and by acting through a very large num- 
ber of branch shops most of all, perhaps, by being their 
own manufacturers and wholesale dealers were able to cut 
profits very small. Clothes and boots, by the gradual 
perfection of machinery, had become worth selling cheaply 
in the modern rapid circulation of money. Oil had been 
cheapened by the standardising tendency of a great 
American trust looking for unchecked sales. Vegetables 
and fruit had come within the reach of town dwellers of a 
class that twenty years before would never have indulged 
in such things. Here again the use of cold chambers for 
transport had brought about a change ; it was now 
worth while to send to England, in quantities large enough 
to make a cheap market, perishable stuff that had formerly 
been limited to the home-grown. Apples had for many 
years now poured in at all seasons ; the imports had first 
become astonishing in 1891, when the quantity from 
Tasmania alone rose suddenly from 8798 bushels to 
64,034 bushels, and other colonies saw the opening for their 
produce. Since then it had dawned upon the big mer- 
chants that money only had to be looked for that if they 
chose to stock a market they could be sure of a return. 
Thus grapes, even pineapples, tomatoes, and other fruits 
which were once hothouse delicacies, appeared on the 
costers' barrows ; and so firm had this kind of market 
become that a regular mail service to the island of Jamaica, 
a boon long desired by the inhabitants, had been inaug- 
urated largely in the assurance that bananas could be sold 
in such quantities, once they were fairly on the streets, as 
to become an unfailingly profitable cargo. The middle 
class, gaining equally by the cheapness of food supplies, 
showed in other ways that mere housekeeping had become 
a small item of its expenditure. The craze just now for 
what was generically described as "Arts and Crafts " furni- 


ture partly a translation into dealers' terms of William 
Morris's designs, partly an importation of modem German 
and Austrian designing meant that middle-class families 
were replacing their fathers' and grandfathers' furniture 
by new roomfuls from top to bottom of their houses. 
Even expensive toys like mechanical piano-players, which 
were first advertised heavily in this year, found their most 
numerous purchasers among the middle class, since the 
hire system played so large a part in the sales. Again, a 
matter like that of " capping " at hunts, which became an 
established custom in 1903, points in the same direction ; 
it meant that numbers of people were able to afford hunt- 
ing who did not belong to the old hunting sets, and so 
did not attach themselves to a single hunt, and become 

It seems quite probable that, if no one had generalised 
about the process, the pressure of growing expenditure 
upon Chancellors of the Exchequer with no gift for funda- 
mental reconsideration of taxing would have brought 
about a definite enlargement of the tariff list. Each 
Chancellor was confronted with a community steadily 
spending on a wider range of both necessaries and luxuries ; 
but not capable of more than a certain elasticity in the 
narrow range of dutiable goods. Moreover, there were 
a good many Liberals who felt that the readiness of the 
workman to applaud a war was partly due to his" escape 
from direct taxation, such as the income-tax, and the com- 
paratively small impost laid on him by the existing area 
of indirect taxes. But now a generalisation was made, 
and in such a way, and by such a man, that the whole 
matter ceased to be one of making ends meet at the 
Exchequer, and became a struggle on root-principles. 

Mr Chamberlain had spoken more than once, since he 
took the Colonial Office and began to make colonial 
subjects of importance to political audiences, of the reality 
which might be given to our relations with the colonies by 


a tariff agreement, such as existed between the various 
states of the United States, or between the countries of 
the German Empire. His first speech to his constituents 
after his return from South Africa was made on 15th May. 
He put forward at more length than he had yet done a 
plea for the establishment of preferential tariffs within 
the empire. At present we left the colonies to fight the 
battle of our markets without any favour ; we were 
obliged to submit to their tariffs, because, if they lowered 
them in our favour, foreign countries threatened reprisals 
(this had just happened between Canada and Germany), 
and we, having no tariffs to lower to our colonies, could not 
indemnify them against such reprisals. This, he thought, 
was a situation Cobden and Bright had not foreseen. He 
expressed his desire that a discussion on the subject should 
be opened. Within three days it had dawned upon Great 
Britain that this was not a mere passage in a speech. It 
looked like Mr Chamberlain's greatest bid for fame. He 
had made Colonial administration a vital piece of Cabinet 
work and parliamentary government ; he wanted to 
make it the central pivot. He had made the Colonial 
Secretaryship a most important office in the Ministry ; 
he wanted to make it the most important office. In an 
Imperial nation the Colonial Secretary should hold threads 
that ran through every other office ; an Imperial Customs 
Union would be the first step, and a long one, towards that 
end. Nay, in an Imperial nation, the Colonial Secretary 
should be Prune Minister. So Mr Chamberlain made his 
high bid. 

He had a great popularity, and a great following. He 
might in any case have made people actually consider an 
ideal. No one else could have done it. The agitation for 
efficiency was already drooping under the bland inatten- 
tion of England. It was all very well for a restless 
inquirer like Mr H. G. Wells to talk about the future as 
lying with the middle class ; and for middle-class men 


to lift their eyebrows at reports of " ragging " in the 
Grenadiers, 1 or outbreaks at Sandhurst, and feel them- 
selves at any rate not brought up to that kind of be- 
haviour. But the middle class showed no sign whatever 
of getting over its proneness to easy distractions. The 
Stock Exchange, always falling back on sporting interests 
in times of slack business, organised a walking race to 
Brighton on May Day. For the rest of the summer, so 
acutely was the public fancy tickled, all kinds of walking 
races were arranged, until the summit of hilarity was 
reached with a race for tea-shop waitresses. A great 
swimmer decided to attempt swimming the Channel ; that 
turned into a craze also, and the daily doings of half- 
a-dozen swimmers were chronicled in the newspapers. 
Girls took to playing hockey, and not a suburb or a small 
provincial town but must have its hockey club. Music 
by Richard Strauss appeared in London concert pro- 
grammes, and the world might stand still while people 
argued whether he had, or had not, rendered all other 
music obsolete. The ordinary halfpenny newspaper had 
ceased to be facile enough ; a halfpenny picture paper 
must be launched, and The Daily Mirror made its appear- 
ance, shrewdly aimed at opening a new market among 
women, whom it must have been galling for the news- 
paper proprietors to see not spending their halfpennies 
at a bookstall as they caught trains to the City. The 
elaboration with which interest was enlisted in criminal 
cases had an unusually busy field this year. First, there 
was the Moat House Farm case, a peculiarly exciting one, 
because it opened with a man being charged with forging 
cheques in the name of a woman, mistress of the farm, who 
had disappeared, and ended in the discovery of her body, 
and the alteration of the charge to one of murder. News- 
paper enterprise was so active that the search for the body 
was conducted behind temporary hoardings. Two other 
1 In February 1903; 


murder cases, and a piece of wild shooting down a sub- 
urban road, in which three Armenians were killed by a 
compatriot, while the neighbourhood went into something 
like a panic, provided other excitements on the street 
placards. As if these cases were not enough, the cheaper 
newspapers spent a breathless fortnight, in September, 
hunting for a lady who had mysteriously disappeared, 
and was ultimately found dead in a coppice in a park near 
London. The irresponsible fervour of this public hunt 
had an offensive element. Odd moments spared by the 
populace from these affairs were given to expressing resent- 
ment against one of the strange prophets that occasionally 
appear from America. This was Dr Dowie, who flourished 
in a sectarian settlement on the shores of Lake Michigan, 
with a creed that made him personally little lower than the 
angels. In the strong belief that charlatanry was turned 
to Dr Dowie's own material comfort, with a good deal of 
blasphemous nonsense in the process, crowds broke up 
meetings held by himself and by his wife and son. An- 
other American doctrine was more quickly obtaining a 
following. Christian Science had gathered by now a 
body of English adherents. 

It was part of Mr Chamberlain's genius that he could 
pitch politics in the key of a public excitement ; he could 
make his ideas " good newspaper stuff." His first speech 
would, however, not have fallen into that category. The 
despair of ardent Imperialists is that colonies, simply as 
colonies, never are good newspaper stuff. But though 
the direct reference of Mr Chamberlain's speech was to the 
colonies, it was equally clear that he had in mind a revival 
of a general customs tariff hi England ; and within a week 
the Free Trade counterblast had begun. The Birming- 
ham speech was elevated into a regular political pro- 
gramme ; party war was declared over it, and it was very 
quickly apparent that the unifying influence of an educa- 
tional question upon the Liberal party was nothing to 


the unifying influence of a call to the defence of Free Trade. 
A debate was raised in the House of Commons on 29th 
May : was Mr Chamberlain to be taken as speaking for 
himself or for the Government ? Mr Balfour merely 
replied that he and Mr Chamberlain were in complete 
agreement, but did not intend to produce details at this 
early stage for the Opposition to tear to pieces. This was 
all very well ; but as Mr Chamberlain had not shrunk 
from facing the dilemma presented that he must either 
tax food-stuffs or else have no tariff advantage to offer to 
the colonies and had boldly admitted that taxation of 
food-stuffs was in his mind, a great many of the Ministerial 
party began to be apprehensive about presenting such 
a programme to their constituents. The first comments 
sent home from the colonies, especially from Australia, 
were not very friendly. Fiscal independence was too 
precious to be easily given up, and a Customs Union must 
mean surrender of purely local power of taxation. 

Practically no other subject counted for anything in 
Parliament during the remainder of the session. To 
earnest Liberals Mr Chamberlain's proposal was an 
attempt at pure reaction. At its best, it would be 
Imperialism as a yoke. But the mere suggestion of a 
tariff brought out all the Protectionist feeling that was 
in the country. The scheme, launched for an ideal of 
co-operation with the colonies, found itself suddenly in 
alliance with arguments for forcing open foreign markets 
and keeping our own markets for our own manufacturers. 
Earnest Liberals fell upon this, in turn, as an attempt to 
secure more profits for manufacturers and shareholders 
at the cost of higher prices to the poor, and at the cost 
of perpetual embroilments with foreign countries. The 
reply was that, if we had a large population too poor to 
stand a small tariff, then Free Trade had not achieved 
much for the working man. So the controversy waxed 
within a month to the broadest possible basis on either 


side. It was sharpened by the immediate party diffi- 
culties it raised. A debate on the new lines during the 
discussion of the Finance Bill had drawn from Mr Ritchie 
professions of the stiffest adherence to Free Trade. How 
then were he and Mr Chamberlain going to continue 
sitting in the same Cabinet ? In the House of Lords it 
appeared that the Duke of Devonshire and Lord Goschen 
were Free Traders. The opportunity for splitting up the 
Government was obvious, and was pursued relentlessly. 
The chief split, that between Mr Balfour and Mr 
Chamberlain, could not be brought about ; they appeared 
together at a luncheon at the Constitutional Club, deliber- 
ately arranged for party purposes ; and were still without 
details in agreement. But besides the Cabinet there 
was the Ministerial party ; and by the beginning of July 
Unionist Free Traders were holding meetings as a separate 
group in the House. The Opposition naturally made 
every possible opportunity for raising a question of such 
obvious profit to themselves ; the Government as natur- 
ally declined, whenever it could, to allow the question to 
appear. T>he only further item of importance elicited 
during the session was the admission drawn from the 
Duke of Devonshire by Lord Rosebery that the Cabinet 
was holding some sort of inquiry. This hint that the 
Unionist party might, as a party, be committed to a 
tariff was emphasised by the appearance of a flood of 
leaflets from the Liberal Unionist headquarters. Mr 
Chamberlain had been as prompt as ever to set party 
machinery in motion. At the same time a league 
designed to act for the new policy alone, the Tariff Reform 
League, came into being ; and on the other side the 
Cobden Club, which had for years led little more than a 
formal existence, awoke to activity, and the Free Trade 
Union was founded to counterbalance the flood of Mr 
Chamberlain's leaflets and speakers. When the House 
rose, there was little expectation that this Parliament 


would meet again. So profoundly had the political 
currents been stirred that a dissolution early in 1904 
was anticipated. The Government had had some very 
uncomfortable experiences at by-elections. In the Rye 
division of Sussex a Unionist majority of 2500 had been 
turned into a Liberal majority of 500. At Woolwich a 
turnover of no less than 6000 votes had given the seat to a 
Labour member, Mr Will Crooks ; and another Labour 
candidate, Mr Arthur Henderson, had won the Barnard 
Castle division of Yorkshire, though the vote against the 
Unionists had been split between him and a Liberal 
candidate. The Government had also lost North Fer- 
managh to a Nationalist. These losses were for the most 
part put down to the mismanagement of the war, and to 
a general irritation with the failure to show energy in 
reform. No one could yet tell how Mr Chamberlain's 
policy would affect the country. But his personal 
popularity was an enormous asset ; the impression of 
vigorous proposals would be another ; and the enthusiasm 
for the colonies during the war, however sentimental, 
would be a third. When once the new question had 
become so pressing, it was supposed that the Government 
would not long carry on without an election. 

Besides the Irish Land Bill and the London Education 
Bill little had been done in Parliament. One or two other 
matters had, however, made an appearance. The brewing 
trade had expressed its perturbation at the new move- 
ment of licensing justices. Lord Burton put certain 
questions in the House of Lords, to which the Lord 
Chancellor had replied that licensing justices must not 
act on grounds of general policy, but on equity and 
expediency in the particular case. Mr Balfour, replying 
to a deputation, had taken the line that licence-holders 
were right to ask for some security, since, if licences were 
to be absolutely insecure, no decent man would engage 
in the trade. It was rather cynically noted that the Rye 


election result had been cheered at a meeting of the 
Beer and Wine Trade Defence League, a sad sign of 
discontent from those upon whom the Unionists had 
been accustomed to rely for support. Yet the general 
approval of the policy of reducing licences was not to be 
denied ; a strong appeal to the Government, signed by 
prominent people in every rank and walk of life, was based 
on the feeling that, if the justices' movement was to be 
checked, as Mr Balfour's remarks implied, it must only 
be by the establishment of some other system of reduc- 
tion. The principle of compensation, which an earlier 
Tory Ministry had endeavoured to incorporate in local 
government schemes, made its reappearance now in 
discussion. Temperance principles had been much 
assisted by the cry for efficiency ; they made a new, if 
mildly grotesque, appearance this year in a gospel of 
taking no drinks between meals ; there were those who 
complained of the amount of overeating that this called 

Motor car legislation also appeared during the session. 
For some years there had been a growing public demand 
for licensing both cars and drivers. Great rates of speed 
and frequent accidents had irritated people ; and it was 
urged that cars ought to be numbered, since identification 
of the car against the will of the owners in case of an 
accident was impossible without numbering; and that 
drivers should be required to pass some test of efficiency. 
A Bill was introduced by the Government to achieve 
both of these objects. By way of sugaring the pill of 
the registration fees, the measure handed the money 
over to the local authorities, for improving the roads. 
Local authorities were also empowered to make a speed 
limit in their districts. But on this latter point public 
opinion forced the Government to amend their Bill, 
and introduce a universal speed limit of twenty miles 
an hour. After that the Bill made a quick passage. 



Motor cars had by this time been greatly improved. 
Breakdowns were infrequent; speed and power had 
immensely increased, and the appearance of cars had 
changed ; they no longer looked like carriages accident- 
ally detached from horses. Motor racing over long 
courses, with its deadly accidents, still flourished ; but 
manufacturers in England were beginning to pay more 
attention to long " reliability trials " than to mere speed 
tests. Cars were still very expensive ; and it was believed 
that " not this generation nor the next will see the dis- 
appearance of the horse from London. Can anyone 
record the smallest diminution in the number of hansom 
cabs, or any shortening of the long line of horse omni- 
buses ? " x But motor omnibuses were already on trial. 

The year is notable in the history of science for the 
discovery of radium. A French scientist, Professor 
Curie, and his wife had succeeded in extracting from 
pitchblende, a curious substance found hitherto only in 
certain mines in Austria, an element with amazing 
properties. It had activities similar to the X-rays, but 
the astonishing thing was that its output of energy seemed 
not to dimmish its volume. It had destructive effects 
upon the human skin and cell-structure ; but it was 
believed that these effects might be turned to useful 
medical purposes. Professor Curie was lecturing at the 
Royal Institution in June. 

The fiscal controversy overwhelmed almost all the 
interest that might have been taken in two reports 
published this year. One was the report of the Joint 
Committee on Municipal Trading. It was not a very 
remarkable document, amounting to little more than a 
proposal for a uniform system of auditing municipal 
accounts, the auditors to be professional accountants, 
appointed for five years, and subject to the approval 
of the Local Government Board. But it was believed that 
1 The Times, i3th November 1903. 


really drastic and disinterested auditing would be a check 
on much of the modern municipal activity. Since the 
joint committee was appointed, there had been more 
deliberate attempts to make " municipal socialism " a 
vital question. Some of the attempts were wasted, being 
directed against extremist proposals, emanating from 
sources of no authority, for municipal supplies of such 
things as bread and tobacco. A shrewder attack was that 
delivered against the system by which the landlord 
compounded for rates on his property, and the tenant 
paid an inclusive rent ; this, it was argued, blinded the 
working man and in London or Glasgow with their blocks 
of flats blinded many of the middle class also to the 
cost at which municipal enterprises were undertaken : the 
heaviness of rates was not really felt. Then there was the 
question of the large number of municipal employees, and 
their natural influence at an election on the side of the 
enterprises which gave them employment. Birmingham, 
for instance, had 7000 of such men, and would have 
1500 more when the tramways were taken over. The 
housing work of municipalities was criticised as costly, 
slow, and aiming at ideals which placed the tenements, 
when built, beyond the means of the workman. Insani- 
tary areas had better be dealt with by drastic action 
against the owners. Some feeling was aroused, but on 
the whole municipal trading was successful in giving the 
communities, in which it was active, efficient and unstinted 
services ; the mere label of socialism could not prevail 
against this practical usefulness. It happened that muni- 
cipal housing had enlisted the interest of King Edward, 
ever since his work on the Housing Commission. He 
visited in this year the new blocks of dwellings erected 
by the London County Council on the Millbank site, and 
showed himself very expert in such details as cupboards. 
It may be mentioned here that the council most success- 
fully solved in this year the problem of naming the new 


streets of its Strand Improvement Scheme. All sorts of 
people had rushed into print with suggestions ; but the 
council thanks, it was believed, to its distinguished clerk, 
Mr Gomme bettered all the advice by naming the broad 
straight road through to Holborn, Kingsway, and the 
crescent uniting it with the Strand, Aldwych a name 
which preserved the ancient associations both of Wych 
Street and of the Danish settlement commemorated in 
the name of St Clement Danes Church. A less happy 
movement of local government, which provided the 
critics of municipal trading with a most useful text, 
was the acquisition by the Marylebone Borough Council 
of the electric light undertaking in their district ; the 
cost, one million and a quarter, was actually in excess 
of the rateable value of the area. 

The other report which failed to obtain due public 
attention was a much more serious one. It was the Report 
of the Royal Commission on the War, and it was a docu- 
ment little short of appalling. It told of hundreds 
of thousands of Lee-Enfield rifles wrongly sighted ; of 
sixty-six million rounds of ammunition of which the bullet 
stripped in the rifle, to the ultimate danger of the shooter ; 
of cavalry swords thoroughly bad in material. Reserves 
of supplies at the beginning of the war had been disgrace- 
fully low : of cavalry swords there were only eighty in 
reserve. There were no reserves of proper khaki uniforms, 
but some 400,000 drill suits too thin for use in South 
Africa. Two of the army corps had neither transport 
materials nor transport animals. The Remount Depart- 
ment had no system of obtaining in time of peace infor- 
mation as to available supplies of horses. Such things, 
and many more, were exposed in detail. In general, 
the recommendations were that the office of Commander- 
in-Chief should be abolished, and War Office control 
reorganised on the lines of the Board of Admiralty. 
Specific changes in War Office administration had already 


been recommended, and proposals for reorganisation 
drawn up, by a Departmental Committee. 

The truth was thus as bad as the worst accusations 
against the Government had asserted it to be. But Mr 
Chamberlain was still, as he had been before, the " light- 
ning conductor." 1 The whole political energy of the 
country was switched on in his direction, and there 
followed an autumn and a winter of such indefatigable 
speech-making as had never been known ; it beat the 
most strenuous periods of the war time. The Liberal 
party showed a wholly united front. Here and there 
were prominent individual cases of independence. 
Liberals, for instance, were gravely astonished when Mr 
Charles Booth, whose work, Life and Labour in London, 
had reformed sociological methods, declared himself a 
supporter of [Mr Chamberlain. But no uncertainty 
existed as to the co-operation between leaders who had 
recently been so openly at variance. Lord Rosebery, Mr 
Asquith and Mr Haldane were as stout defenders of Free 
Trade as Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman and Mr Lloyd 
George. A moment's hesitation on the other side had 
attended a statement by Mr Chamberlain, to the effect 
that he would not even press for inquiry into his pro- 
posals if he found the people unwilling to bear a slight 
burden for an Imperial ideal. But now that business 
men anxious for a tariff had enlisted under him these 
exalted attitudes were rapidly modified by clever 
organisers, and the " slight burden " was soon made to 
appear no burden by intimations that a system of Colonial 
preference, putting duties upon corn, mutton, etc., 
would bring in money enough to allow the duties on tea, 
sugar and other articles of food to be lightened, so that 
a balance would be struck. 

Liberals, while maintaining the broadest principles 
of Free Trade the absence of perpetual opportunities 
1 See Punch, 22nd July 1903; 


for friction with foreign countries, the freedom from 
acrimonious bargaining with colonists, the immense 
subtleties of the industrial structure which we had reared 
upon free imports unwearyingly attacked Mr Chamber- 
lain in every detail of statistics and every specific instance 
he produced. A relentlessly wet summer and autumn, 
accompanied by depressing floods, disposed people to 
welcome a new thing to think about. By its disastrous 
destruction of crops, the weather also assisted the Pro- 
tectionist element hi Mr Chamberlain's forces. The trade 
depression and the lack of employment produced a vague 
inclination to try a new way with industry. As the 
arguments for Retaliation in hostile tariffs and Protection 
for our own industries slowly made headway in the 
propaganda against Mr Chamberlain's original idealistic 
proposal, his standing as a business man, whose reputation 
had been made before the world knew him, in an enter- 
prising city, was remembered more than his capture of 
the public imagination as Colonial Secretary. 

But before the remarkable autumn campaign began, 
there were extremely exciting passages in the inner circles 
of politics. The Cabinet was summoned in September, 
and everyone was on the alert. Did it mean dissolution ? 
And, if not, what rearrangement was going to take place ? 
Would Mr Chamberlain resign, and so leave the Free 
Traders to pull the party together, or would the Free 
Trade Ministers resign, and so leave the party committed 
to Mr Chamberlain ? For, according as these events fell 
out, Mr Balfour's position, it was thought, would be 
determined. He had all along asserted the absence of 
any disagreement between himself and Mr Chamberlain ; 
but the conviction was strong that, if the Free Traders 
in the Cabinet won, Mr Balfour would, to say the least, 
welcome a situation in which he need not commit 
himself further, and would hold the party aloof. One 
influence, powerful still, though in retirement, had just 


been removed. Lord Salisbury died on 23rd August. 
In view of the recent turns of political events, both the 
war and the fiscal campaign, it was natural to sum up 
his contribution to English life by saying that, while 
he could not create ideals by force of imagination, or set 
popular feelings in motion, he could lay a hand on public 
opinion, and could, hi the widest sense, govern. 1 An 
aristocrat, a true Conservative, he never quite adjusted 
himself to a world in which newspapers spread over all the 
country speeches meant only for a particular assembly ; 
he was given to saying things which looked cynical and 
provocative in print. Hence arose the view that in 
much of his social legislation he was impelled forward by 
Mr Chamberlain. The truth was rather that he was never 
reluctant to meet the given case, nor blind to the political 
impulses of his day. But he disliked the wrapping of 
a given case in large phrases and democratic generalisa- 
tions ; he disliked the pretence of doing from emotion what 
was done from a purely intellectual acquiescence in a 
certain presentation of facts. The appearance of cynicism 
was usually due to this obstinate clearing of his own 
conscience. 2 

Now that he was dead, there was no one in the party 
of more administrative or parliamentary weight and 
experience than Mr Chamberlain. He fought against 
no odds. This added sharpness to the country's expecta- 
tion of a decisive struggle in the Cabinet. But when the 
announcement came, on 18th September, it left the public 
bewildered. Mr Ritchie, the Free Trade Chancellor of 
the Exchequer, had resigned, and Lord George Hamilton, 
who had also been a strong Free Trader but Mr Chamber- 
lain had resigned as well. Then two more Free Traders 
resigned, Lord Balfour of Burleigh and Mr Arthur Elliot. 
It was a tariff " purge," but why had Mr Chamberlain 

1 The Times, 24th August 1903. 
1 Cf. vol. it, p. 315. 


gone ? The reason given was that he wished in any 
case to have a perfectly free hand to urge his proposals, 
to take any steps he liked for laying them before the 
country, to be unhampered by obligations to colleagues. 
Then men turned their eyes back to the Cabinet, and saw 
that the Duke of Devonshire remained in it. Hence 
arose an embittered discussion of whether the Free Trade 
members of the Cabinet had known of Mr Chamberlain's 
intention to resign before they intimated their own 
resignations whether, in fact, they had been jockeyed 
out ''of the Cabinet. When, on 6th October, the Duke 
of Devonshire's resignation was announced, it was 
accompanied, most unusually, by the publication of the 
letters on his decision exchanged between himself and 
Mr Balfour. They were not comfortable reading, and 
Mr Balfour's showed querulousness. They seemed to 
make it clear that Mr Balfour had not regretted the 
loss of the other Free Traders, though his silence as to 
Mr Chamberlain's purpose had been dictated solely by the 
ordinary rules governing correspondence between gentle- 
men ; but he had distinctly hoped to keep the Duke. 
The Cabinet was committed to no more than inquiry, 
and the Duke might, he thought, have remained within 
it at least until he knew the result of inquiry. 1 Mr 
Balfour's tone suggested that he felt the weakness of the 
material to his hand for a reconstruction of the Ministry, 
and indeed, if the Cabinets of 1900 and 1902 had made 
a poor show to a nation demanding business energy in 
government, this reconstructed Cabinet of 1903 made 
a still poorer one. Mr Austen Chamberlain went to the 

1 It may be remarked that Mr Balfour should have known better. 
The Duke was the most clear-headed man of his day. Mr Gladstone 
had tried exactly the same method of securing him for the Cabinet 
of 1886. The Duke had replied that inquiry raised such hopes 
that a Cabinet which undertook it was in fact committed to more 
than inquiry. See Holland's Life of the Duke of Devonshire, 
vol. ii. 


Exchequer, an appointment which, if it hinted at more 
than mere " absence of disagreement " between Mr 
Balfour and Mr Chamberlain on a question wholly con- 
cerned with the Exchequer, was otherwise insignificant. 
Mr Alfred Lyttelton went to the Colonial Office. Mr 
Brodrick took the opportunity of a " general post " to 
leave the War Office, deserting his army corps, and 
removed himself to the India Office, to succeed Lord 
George Hamilton. Mr Arnold Forster, a young man of 
vigorous ideas, but regarded as a light-weight for the 
job, undertook the War Office. Popular opinion summed 
up the whole transaction as the making of a warming- 
pan ministry, to await Mr Chamberlain s triumphant 
conversion of the country. Everything now, even the 
premiership, was cleared for his high bid. 

There could be little doubt of this. At the very moment 
when Mr Chamberlain accepted the Tariff Reform League's 
full position, that the object of the campaign was " to 
consolidate and develop the resources of the empire and to 
defend the industries of the United Kingdom " a frank 
Protectionist position Mr Balfour was saying that public 
opinion did not seem ripe for a change in our basis of 
taxation if preference involved, as it almost certainly did, 
taxes, however light, upon food-stuffs. If Mr Chamber- 
lain won, therefore, he won for his own hand. He went 
resolutely to the campaign. At his first great meeting of 
the autumn, in Glasgow, he produced what the Free Traders 
had all along challenged him to produce a preliminary 
sketch of a tariff. He proposed a two-shilling duty on corn, 
and the same on flour ; a 5-per-cent. duty on foreign meat 
and consumable produce, except bacon ; the reduction of 
the tea-duty by three-quarters and the sugar-duty by a 
half, and corresponding reductions on coffee and cocoa. 
He still cherished his Colonial ideal himself, warning his 
audience that the colonies would not wait for ever, and the 
chance of a fiscally consolidated empire might pass. Before 


the end of the year he had made speeches also at Greenock, 
Newcastle, Tynemouth, Liverpool, Birmingham, Cardiff 
and Newport. As the plan of his campaign developed it 
was seen that he was taking in each case the local industry 
as an example of the need for Protection sugar-refining 
at Greenock, iron and steel at Newcastle and Tynemouth, 
metal manufacture at Birmingham, tin plates at Newport. 
Liberals joined battle with him unceasingly. They 
produced statistics to prove that Mr Chamberlain selected 
certain years, in order to make out that trade was declining. 
T'hey defied him to unify his doctrine to explain the 
remedies he produced for the sugar-refiner to the soda-water 
and jam manufacturers, who depended on cheap sugar ; 
or his remedies for the iron and steel trades to the ship- 
builders who worked on cheap imported plates. They 
defied him to reconcile the statement that a tariff would 
keep out foreign goods with the statement that foreigners 
would pay such duties that other taxes could be taken off. 
They defied him to show how, if trade was to be protected, 
prices would fail to rise all round. Mr Chamberlain, his 
eye firmly fixed on his ideal, boldly declared that his 
figures were employed merely as illustrations ; and harped 
perpetually on the facts that there was unemployment, 
that we admitted foreign goods which gave our own work- 
men no employment, and were shut by tariff walls out of 
markets abroad. 

Liberals kept as firmly to other broad assertions the 
" big-loaf " of Free Trade, the " starvation line " among 
the poor. An extraordinary revival of political economy 
began to occur. Fourteen professors of the subject (no 
one had ever thought there were* so many in the country) 
signed a manifesto against Mr Chamberlain ; a smaller, 
but equally eminent, number produced a counterblast. 
Statistics on either side were so riddled that wholly new 
theories of statistics emerged. Whatever the end of the 
immediate affair might be, there was the consoling 


thought that business must be the better for the destruc- 
tion of weaknesses in economic theory ; and politics must 
be the better for it too, since all big political questions 
nowadays were in the last resort economic questions. 1 

One or two foreign affairs had received rather more than 
just the dregs of interest left over from the main political 
struggle. The King, on his way abroad in the autumn, 
had broken his journey at Paris, and the fact that Paris 
was fond of him was beginning to obliterate antagonistic 
feelings, and pave the way for friendship. The assassina- 
tion of the King and Queen of Servia in the summer was 
reported in such terrible detail that public opinion went 
so far as to demand the recall of our minister from the 
blood-stained scene. It was decided, however, that so 
pronounced a step had better not be taken ; and the 
minister remained, but only to watch events, and not to 
maintain diplomatic relations. 

The great alarm about poisoned beer had largely died 
down before the appearance in December of the report of 
the Royal Commission on Arsenical Poisoning. The com- 
mission was inclined to suspect the presence of arsenic in a 
good many foods and drinks ; but its recommendations 
were practically confined to stricter inspection. Beer itself 
was already made under more careful supervision by brew- 
ing firms, and had quite recovered its reputation. 

In December were issued also new Home Office rules 
governing the use of lead in the manufacture of china and 
earthenware. Since the evils of lead-poisoning had first 
become matter of common knowledge, 2 the attempts to 
minimise them had been frequent. The special rules of 
1894 had been supplemented by new rules in 1898, enjoin- 
ing monthly medical examination of women and young 
persons, the use of overalls and head-coverings, etc. 
Meanwhile the enforcement of notification of cases of 

1 The Times, 4th June 1903. 
* See vol i., p. 339. 


lead-poisoning, under the Factory Act of 1895, had 
provided statistics showing that the number of cases 
annually had been still well over 300, up to 1898. There 
now arose a movement against the use of lead at all, since 
even constantly improved rules appeared to leave so 
large a margin of danger. Inventors had set themselves 
to produce a satisfactory leadless glaze ; and the agitation 
was so successful that in 1900 draft rules had been 
issued by the Home Office, proposing to limit the presence 
of lead in glazes to 2 per cent, of soluble lead. The 
manufacturers objected to this ; it would interfere less 
with expensive wares than with the cheap wares, in which 
foreign manufacturers, not subject to so drastic a rule, 
might disastrously drive them from the market. Some 
of the best of them argued also that in well-equipped 
factories, properly ventilated and supervised, lead could 
be used safely ; the majority of the cases of poisoning 
came, they said, from the small factories which could 
not by any ingenuity be healthily ventilated or adequately 
inspected. Lord James of Hereford was appointed to 
arbitrate on the draft rules, and in 1903 he issued his 
award, on which the new rules were founded. They 
abandoned the attempt to limit the percentage of lead. 
But they added stringency to the rules of 1898, particu- 
larly in respect of exhaust ventilation ; they provided 
for monthly medical examination of all workers, includ- 
ing adult males ; and they established a scheme of 
compensation for workers certified to be suffering from 

A literary event of the autumn fully able to hold its own 
even in the turmoil was the publication of Morley's Life 
of Gladstone. Literature and art sustained a curiously 
large number of losses during the year : Henley, Lecky, 
Shorthouse, Seton Merriman, George Gissing and Whistler 
all died m 1903. Two men, both concerned with the 
bettering of life in towns, in very different ways, had passed 


away Lord Rowton, whose quiet fame as Disraeli's 
private secretary had been overshadowed by his later fame 
as builder of model lodging-houses, and Mr Quintin Hogg, 
who founded at the Polytechnic Institute a system of 
technical education in days before London had stirred 
itself to the need for such education. Herbert Spencer 
died in December. His erudite Synthetic Philosophy had 
been completed some years earlier. It appeared likely 
that he would survive rather as a great organiser of philo- 
sophical investigation than as a great philosopher. His 
actual structure already showed signs of disintegration ; 
it had its foundations in the Darwin period of scientific 
hypothesis, and some of his premisses had by now been 
modified, or even superseded. The tendency in philosophy 
at this time was towards a different use of science. Specu- 
lations in moral philosophy were based less on the deductive 
method of the origin of species, and more on what might 
be called pathological psychology. In one respect the mark 
of its period so distinct in the Synthetic Philosophy kept it 
in the peculiarly English type ; its end was ethical. But 
it failed of its full effect largely because of its essential 
scheme. Philosophers now tended to distrust schemes, 
to dislike the logical whole, to make for compromise, to 
accept the irrational elements in human composition and 
translate them, rather than endeavour to expel them. 
It was, for instance, highly characteristic of the philosophy 
of these years that Professor William James, almost its 
acknowledged leader, should have investigated the 
psychology of religious experience. Scepticism of a 
militant kind was disappearing, and the moral philosopher 
reached out for every support of the moral instincts in 
man. A new pragmatism was the guiding star of the 
universities, and the eschatology of Herbert Spencer's 
best days made but little appeal. 



THE face of political life was now completely 
changed. Liberals were united, energetic, impelled 
by a cause. The doubt and hesitation had shifted 
to the Unionist party. Some of its members were in open 
rupture ; the Duke of Devonshire had gone so far in 
December as to advise Free Trade Unionists among the 
electorate not to vote for a Unionist, if he were a Tariff 
Reformer. Many others, less decided in their attitude, 
asked with growing impatience what leadership they were 
under. They found a suspended judgment, which was 
Mr Balfour's official state of mind, impossible to present 
to their constituents as a policy. Were they to follow 
Mr Chamberlain ? But in that case their duty in the 
division lobbies would often be most obscure. Some even 
came to asking themselves, if they did not ask publicly, 
whether Mr Chamberlain's genius was of the egoistic 
kind that must inevitably cut sooner or later across his 
party. He had borne a prominent share in the shattering 
division of one side ; he had now divided the other. There 
was an echo of many thoughts in Punch's quotation of 
the text : " Had Zimri peace, who slew his master ? " 1 

A little less idealistic, but not a whit less resolute, 
Mr Chamberlain continued to urge on the fray. Early 
in the new year was published a list of persons who had 
consented to act as a commission to investigate depressed 
industries, and to draw up a suggested tariff. It contained 
several well-known names Sir Alfred Jones, the ship- 
1 Punch, 1 7th June 1903: 



owner ; Sir Alexander Henderson, a railway chairman ; 
Sir Vincent Caillard, banker and financier ; Sir W. T . Lewis, 
the coalowner ; Mr Charles Parsons, inventor of the turbine 
engine ; Sir Robert Herbert, formerly Under-Secretary for 
the Colonies ; Mr W. H. Grenfell, athlete and squire. 
The rest were mostly business men of some eminence in 
their business, but not known to the world. On 19th 
January Mr Chamberlain spoke in the City of London 
on the theme that our supremacy in banking, which the 
Free Traders attributed to our being the great open 
market of the world, and therefore the centre of bills of 
exchange and all the apparatus of commercial credit, 
must fall away, if our industrial supremacy fell. 

If he had miscalculated the task he had undertaken, 
these opening days of the new year must have given him 
his lesson. At a by-election in the Ashburton division 
of Devonshire the Liberal majority was doubled ; at 
Norwich, hi spite of a split vote, the Liberal candidate won 
the seat from the Conservatives by a majority of 1800. 
Nor could there be much doubt as to the cause of these 
events ; nothing but the tariff question counted in politics 
for the moment. Another question was ripening which, 
within a few months, was also to be a weapon in the hands 
of Liberal candidates. The Transvaal made its choice in 
the labour question. Its mind was changed. In November 
1908 intimations had reached England that " South 
Africa had gradually reconciled itself to the Chinaman " ; 
but American experience showed that he could not come 
in as a simple immigrant ; he must be under rigid contract. 1 
In December the Legislative Council of the Transvaal had 
adopted Sir George's Farrar's motion for the importation 
under indenture of unskilled Asiatic labourers. In January 
1904 the Draft Ordinance was out. The imported labour 
was to be confined to the Rand ; the labourers were to 
carry passports, renewed annually ; were not to be allowed 
1 The Times, I3th November 1903. 


to settle permanently in the country, or to mix with the 
rest of the population ; and were not to move outside the 
ground allotted to them except by permit lasting only for 
forty-eight hours. The means by which public opinion in 
South Africa, which only a year before was holding mass 
meetings of protest against the Chinaman, had been 
converted were not difficult to perceive. Prosperity in 
the last resort depended on the Rand. Agriculture could 
only get under way very slowly after the dislocation of the 
war ; and even when restored to activity could absorb but 
a limited amount of labour, and produce but a limited 
revenue. The mines, now that their machinery was re- 
newed, could open almost at a word the stream of wealth. 
It rested with the mine-owners to dictate the word ; and 
they dictated " Chinamen." Once they had carried their 
point in South Africa, they had a short way with the home 
Government. Mr Chamberlain had said that he neither 
could nor would interfere with local opinion ; and Mr 
Lyttleton held himself bound by this promise. The mine- 
owners used it as a virtual settlement of the question ; and 
before the home Government had had the Draft Ordinance 
a month in its hands they were demanding of Lord 
Milner that he should press for its instant ratification. 
There were certainly dangers ahead. Mr Seddon, Premier 
of New Zealand, had proposed to the other colonies a 
formal united protest against this flouting of their experi- 
ence and their determined policy towards Chinese labour. 
If the protest took shape, it would be an odd commentary 
on Mr Chamberlain's imperialistic ideals to have the home 
Government vacillating between the opinion of one colony 
and the opinion of all the others. Moreover the Liberals 
were arousing f eeling at home. Had we endured the war, 
with all its cost in British lives and British money, to see the 
Rand mines full of labour that was not British in the 
remotest sense of the word, and a peculiarly depraved 
form of labour ? Meetings of protest were taking place all 


over England. Even the House of Lords had witnessed 
the expression of some uneasiness about the moral aspects 
of the strict indenturing. But by taking their stand on 
Mr Chamberlain's words the mine-owners put themselves 
ahead of dangers ; and on 12th March it was announced 
that the Ordinance had been allowed. Another by- 
election was going on at the moment in East Dorset. This 
question was made by the Liberal candidate as prominent 
as Free Trade, and another Unionist seat was lost. Men 
began to look at the Opposition, and speculate on the 
quality of material in it for forming a ministry. 

In January the long trial of Mr Whittaker Wright 
reached its end ; but the end was more terrible than the 
law could make it. The preliminary hearings had occupied 
many sittings before a King's Bench judge during the 
autumn. No ordinary person, as has been said, could 
pretend to follow the intricacies of the methods by which 
Mr Whittaker Wright had arranged the balance sheets of 
his various companies for the annual meeting of each ; but 
transfer of shares among them was the root of the methods. 
The trial ended on 26th January, in a sentence of seven 
years' penal servitude. But the evening papers announcing 
this were still on the printing press when the information 
came that, while waiting in a room at the Law Courts, after 
the sentence, for removal to prison, Mr Wright had appar- 
ently had a seizure of some kind, and was dead. The 
inquest proved that he had killed himself. It was a story 
of extraordinary calmness and determination. A loaded 
and cocked revolver was discovered on the body ; but the 
death was due to poison. He had been able to find an 
occasion for giving himself cyanide of potassium, and had 
then gone on talking for a few minutes, perfectly quietly, 
to his solicitor and a friend. He had been smoking a cigar, 
and as he asked for another he fell from his chair, and was 
dead before a doctor could be brought to him. He had had 
ten years of wealth and of power in the City ; and he had 


been even more dazzling in his period of success than other 
company promoters. He had set about building a colossal 
house on a Surrey hill, and his billiard-room, with a glass 
ceiling under a lake, so that the roof seemed to be of water, 
became a standing example of fantastic extravagance and 
the craziness of sudden riches. A footnote to the trial is 
that Mr Rufus Isaacs finally established his reputation at 
the Bar ; he moved through the intricate mass of figures 
with unfaltering skill. It was asserted that, if the Judge 
put to him a question about some item in a balance sheet 
which had been mentioned weeks before, Mr Rufus Isaacs 
could answer at once, without reference to his papers. 

Before the House met, a new line of army reform had 
been entered upon. A small committee, consisting of Lord 
Esher, Admiral Sir John Fisher and General Sir George 
Sydenham Clarke, had drawn up a scheme for reconstitut- 
ing the War Office on the model of the Board of Admiralty, 
according to the Royal Commission's recommendation. 1 
The Commander-m-Chief was to be abolished, and an 
Army Council of four military members, with the parlia- 
mentary heads of the department, was to take his place. 
Commands were to be decentralised, and unity was to 
be given by the creation of an Inspector-General. A 
Board of Selection was to control promotions. Finally, the 
Committee of Defence, which Mr Balfour had constructed 
in 1903 on a basis of permanence to replace the Committee 
of the Cabinet, which had been the first experiment in 
this direction, was given a staff of a secretary and some 
ten officers of either service. The new Army Council 
was composed of Mr Arnold Forster, Secretary of State, 
Lord Donoughmore, Parliamentary Under-Secretary, and 
Mr Bromley Davenport, Financial Secretary ; General 
Lyttelton, General Douglas, General Plumer and General 
Wolfe Murray. Sir Edward Ward was appointed Secretary 
to the Council, and to the Committee of Defence. The 

1 See p. 1961 


Duke of Connaught became Inspector-General and 
President of the Board of Selection. The new broom had 
in four months swept Mr Brodrick and his army corps 
clean out of the office. It was on the whole a good start. 
The council represented both the older generation among 
army commanders and the new generation, which had 
come home in such a bewildering batch of very young 
generals from South Africa. Sir Edward Ward, the one 
man who had acquired a thoroughly business reputation 
in the war, was hailed as eminently in his right place. The 
Duke of Connaught was known as a plain, keen soldier ; 
and his presidency of the Board of Selection promised 
an end to private influences in promotion. The looser 
organisation of local commands, in place of the tight 
machinery of army corps, would provide a better means 
of employing the young generals. With no little relief, 
the country decided that it had at last a reform worth 
leaving to itself for trial, and removed the subject from 
everlasting discussion. The old Duke of Cambridge just 
lived to hear of the new ideas. He died on 17th March. 
He had never been a friend to the remodelling of our 
military notions, and had stood actively in the way of 
some earlier attempts. But that could be passed over 
now ; and there was much on the positive side to 
remember. He had been devoted to the army ; and, after 
all, no scientific methods and no reorganisation would be 
of much use if his example in that respect were forgotten. 
There was so much on the parliamentary tapis that 
the army could well be allowed a little peace. The 
debate on the Address gave an early opportunity for 
harrying the Government on the fiscal question ; and 
in division on an amendment moved by Mr Morley the 
Ministerial majority dropped to fifty-one half its normal 
size. Mr Lloyd George showed in this debate that his 
reputation was not going to rest solely on his attacks upon 
Mr Chamberlain during the war, or his skill in the Educa- 


tion Bill debates. He could be slashing enough on the 
Free Trade side at public meetings (he had just denounced 
the Tariff Reform campaign as " the inauguration of an 
era of universal loot "), but he could also make a Unionist 
minister refer to his speech on this amendment as the 
only speech really dealing with the question. 1 Mr Cham- 
berlain was at the moment abroad. He had had an 
exhausting winter, and had just lost, by the death of Mr 
Powell Williams, a friend of many years. The Opposi- 
tion were in high feather, Lord Rosebery making gay 
speeches to the Liberal League, and Sir Henry Campbell- 
Bannerman and the Radical stalwarts sharing the enjoy- 
ment. The by-elections greatly inspirited them. Besides 
those already mentioned, there had been one in Scotland, 
for the Ayr Burghs ; and although Mr George Younger, 
the Unionist candidate, entirely repudiated Tariff Reform, 
the Liberals captured the seat. The signs of a turn of the 
tide could not be mistaken. 

The session promised increased ground for fighting. 
The Government had decided to introduce a Licensing 
Bill, and Mr Balfour advised magistrates to await amend- 
ment of the law before proceeding with reduction of 
licences. The Bill introduced a system of compensation 
for licences refused on other grounds than those of mis- 
conduct. A fund was to be raised in each quarter sessions 
area, by a graduated levy on licences. The quarter 
sessions area was selected, rather than the brewster 
sessions area, in order to make the fund large enough to 
meet considerable cases. From this fund compensation was 
to be paid calculated on the basis of the death duties that 
would have been chargeable on the property as licensed 
premises, deducting the value of them if unlicensed. The 
principle of the Bill was that, whatever may have been 
the original theory of licensing, the practice of the justices 
had led to the establishment of a reasonable expectation 
1 The Times, i6th February 1904. 


of renewal, except in cases of misconduct. Licences had 
thereby acquired a recognised value ; they paid death 
duties, and, while the State assessed a value for this 
purpose, it could not deny it by reverting to a purely 
annual basis for licences. But once the question had 
been raised, new licences might be prevented from acquir- 
ing that value (the phrase " monopoly value " was coined 
at this time), by imposing such duties that the value 
reverted instantly to the public purse. Compensation 
would not therefore be recoverable for new licences. 
Liberals opened a broadside attack. The Bill destroyed 
the unfettered discretion of the justices under the Sharp 
v. Wakefield decision, substituting a system of reduction 
limited by the amount of the compensation fund. It 
placed the fund on such a wide area that the justices' 
dealings with their own district were controlled by con- 
ditions in other districts. It abolished the power to 
affix conditions to the renewal of licences a kind of 
reform in which the Liverpool justices had been notably 
active, securing the abolition of back-door entrances to 
public-houses, and of the serving of drink to children. 
But the main attack went to the root of the Bill. Com- 
pensation on these terms was not only a recognition of the 
growth of a vested interest, but the permanent establish- 
ment in law of such an interest. Liberals and the mass 
of temperance reformers did not attempt to deny that the 
general practice of renewal had led to the growth of an 
interest ; but they maintained that justice could be met 
by giving notice that, at the end of a certain period, the 
annual nature of the licence would be reasserted ; during 
that period the trade should readjust itself by mutual 
insurance to meet the new conditions, and, if a licence 
was taken away before that time had elapsed, a sum of 
money should be paid, as it were, in lieu of warning. 
Compensation in the Government's Bill had not this 
meaning. As Sir Robert Reid put it in one of the debates 


on the Bill : " Compensation had been offered as a 
compromise, and accepted as a principle." The Liberal 
attack on the Bill therefore concentrated itself on pro- 
posals to limit the payment of compensation to a certain 
period ; seven, fourteen or twenty-one years were offered 
in different amendments. When lost in the House of 
Commons, these amendments reappeared hi the House 
of Lords, where they had strong support from the Bench 
of Bishops ; but they met with no better fate. 

The truth was that the interest in licences was not 
merely the interest of " the trade " in its narrower sense. 
The great brewery flotations of the eighties x had spread 
the interest over the whole community. Licensed 
premises had become, by the policy of buying houses, 
the largest asset in the balance sheets of brewing firms. 
Prices for them had risen enormously in the competition, 
and the defeat of Local Veto in 1895 had sent them still 
higher. Anything that put these values in doubt would 
have shaken the stability of every brewing company in the 
kingdom. The Liberal position was that deflation of the 
over-capitalised could not be allowed to weigh as an 
argument ; and that the sound firms could, within a 
time limit, achieve the necessary readjustments. The 
strength of the Government's case lay really in a general 
feeling that the justices' movement for the reduction of 
licences, successful though it had been in various districts, 
was bound before long to meet with checks. It rested 
on legal decisions which, technically indeed quite sound, 
did not wholly satisfy popular ideas of fairness. When 
refusal of renewals had passed beyond operations in such 
places as Farnham, with its obvious disproportion of 
licences to population, 2 and came to deal with districts 
in which the ideas of temperance reformers would less 
easily coincide with ordinary views of what might be 

1 See vol. i., p. 230. 
J See p. 175. 


permitted, reduction of licences would either be stopped, 
or only carried out at the cost of irritation and an appear- 
ance of grandmotherliness. The licensing situation after 
the decision in Sharp v. Wakefield may not unreasonably 
be compared with the case of higher education after the 
Cockerton judgment. 1 In both cases the law, when set 
in motion, trapped customary practice ; and the average 
man did not approve of such uses of the law. His inclina- 
tion in both cases was to stand by custom, and correct 
the letter of the law. The justices' movement, if left to 
proceed by itself, would inevitably have become in time 
as impossible to pursue as a policy of continual Cockerton 
audits would have been. If the Government had accepted 
even the longest time limit for payment of compensation 
the Licensing Bill would have had little real opposition 
from any quarter except the Prohibitionist core of the 
temperance party. As it was, the closure had to be 
drastically applied before the Bill passed into law. 

For the rest, the session was tame. The Budget was 
not one to restore the failing hold of the Government. 
Trade was much better, and the Stock Exchange, in spite 
of the welter of war stock, and a steady fall in Consols 
in place of the expected rise after the war, was hopeful. 
But the revenue was no less than two and three-quarters 
millions below the estimate, a melancholy state of things 
for a young and untried Chancellor of the Exchequer. 
There was no novelty in the Budget proposals. Mr Austen 
Chamberlain just re-imposed one of the pence on the 
income-tax of which the taxpayer had rejoiced to be rid 
in the previous year, and put twopence on the tea-tax. 

A Penal Servitude Bill was introduced, in which there 
were traces of the influence of Sir Robert Anderson's 
theories. 2 It recognised the argument for long periods 
of detention in the case of habitual criminals, and 

1 See p. 121. 
8 See p. 142. 


recognised also that judges reasonably shrank from long 
sentences of absolute penal servitude on other than the 
most serious charges. The Bill proposed, therefore, to 
empower judges to order that part of a long sentence 
should be served in a place of detention for habitual 
offenders, where penal servitude was not exacted. This 
was a compromise quite ineffective from Sir Robert 
Anderson's point of view ; to him the detention of an 
habitual offender was useless unless it was for life. The 
Bill in the end was dropped. It could not have been very 
fortunately pressed forward at a time when the police 
administration was gravely called in question by the 
case of Adolf Beck. This man had been arrested in 1895 
on suspicion of having defrauded various women ; and 
having been " identified " by the usual processes as a 
man named Smith, previously convicted for similar 
offences, was sentenced to seven years' penal servitude. 
He protested his innocence, and while in prison was able 
by certain physical facts to prove that he was not Smith ; 
but it was nevertheless believed that the women who 
charged him with fraud had at any rate recognised him 
as the defrauder in the present cases. He was therefore 
made to serve out his sentence. In April 1904 he was 
again arrested on similar charges, and convicted, again 
protesting his innocence. The judge, remembering that 
identification in the earlier case had been shown to have 
overreached its object, postponed sentence. Before the 
case was brought up again, a man came under arrest who 
was proved to be the original Smith ; and the " identifica- 
tion " of Beck in both the trials he had undergone was 
revealed as completely fallacious. The Home Office 
offered Beck a sum of 2000 as compensation, and a 
formal free pardon. He refused the offer, and demanded 
a full investigation. A committee was appointed which 
entirely established his innocence. It did not recom- 
mend, as many hoped that it would, the establishment 


of a Court of Criminal Appeal ; but naturally the whole 
affair revived the movement in favour of such a court. 
Until it was established, public opinion was bound to be 
shy of supporting the idea of prolonged detention for 
habitual offenders when it had been shown that a man 
who had committed no offence at all might be in imminent 
danger of being classed as a habitual offender. The 
finger-print system of identification had only been intro- 
duced into British police administration since 1900 ; and 
most of that branch of the police work depended as yet 
on more rough and ready methods. 

Two other items of the session's work may be mentioned, 
since they were the beginnings of new movements. One 
was the statement made in April by the Colonial Secretary 
as to experiments under official auspices with a view to 
growing cotton in West Africa. For some time there had 
been discontent among the Lancashire spinners at their 
dependence upon the American market, and the subjection 
of their requirements to purely speculative operations. 
This year operations of that kind had been peculiarly 
marked, Mr Sully having attempted a huge gamble. 
He failed, but the affair gave a great impulse to the 
movement for British cotton-growing; and experiments 
were now made in Southern Nigeria, Lagos and Sierra 
Leone. The other matter was the Aliens Bill. Springing 
from various causes from the investigations into sweated 
labour, from the processions of the unemployed, from 
fear of anarchistic socialism, and now from the movement 
for protecting industries an outcry had arisen against 
unchecked immigration. No other country in the world 
permitted it ; and the question was asked why we alone 
should admit foreigners without any stipulation as to 
their past record or their present ability to maintain 
themselves decently. Appalling pictures were given 
of quarters of the East End from which native-born 
inhabitants had entirely withdrawn before an invasion 


of foreigners with a low standard of living, who swarmed 
in the poor houses, produced unhealthy conditions, and 
undercut the wages market. For the present, the con- 
troversy remained rather vague. 

The Tariff Reform campaign seemed to have pro- 
duced something of the effect aimed at by the apostles 
of efficiency. The subject was serious, yet the nation took 
to it ardently, and did not tire of it. True, it is necessary 
to record in this year one of the most childlike crazes of 
our period. Some weekly papers, ever inventing new 
attractions for readers, hit upon the boyishness of grown- 
up people by announcing that metal discs had been 
concealed in certain spots, the neighbourhood being 
more or less obscurely indicated, which would entitle 
the finders to a sum of money. This " treasure-hunting " 
developed into an astonishing nuisance. In vain the 
papers concerned kept on stating that the discs were not 
on private property, and were not buried. Men with 
a regular Treasure Island fever upon them invaded the 
front gardens of inoffensive citizens, and grubbed up the 
flower beds ; dodged the park-keepers in order to tear 
up the turf of public parks ; quarrelled violently with 
other treasure hunters who had worked out the given 
indications in the same way and pitched upon the same 
point. The moment a man began to probe a spot a 
crowd instantly collected, on the chance that he might 
have guessed the spot rightly, but might not be the first 
to discover the disc. After all, except for the injured 
owners of suburban gardens, it was an engaging mani- 
festation of ingenuousness in the sophisticated Londoner. 
Unfortunately London lost this year the man who was 
beginning to reveal the suburbs, Dan Leno. He had 
invented a new music hall convention ; he relieved his 
audiences of the everlasting bar loafer, and gave them 
instead the man behind the counter of a suburban shop, 
the landlady of the suburbs, the museum attendant 


a host of lower middle-class figures rendered in all their 
bland unconsciousness. He made genuine low comedy. 

In the summer Colonel Younghusband's advance into 
Thibet caught the popular imagination. The Indian 
Government had decided to obtain a definite footing in 
Thibet, and an expedition was sent of no threatening 
size. The Dalai Lama, the ruling authority in Lhassa, 
refused a passage to the mission; but patient methods 
were pursued, and, though there was some opposition 
on the road, there was no very serious fighting. The 
Dalai Lama fled, and the Tashi Lama, who was known 
to be more friendly, was left in authority. The British 
expedition reached Lhassa on 3rd August, and another 
of the great secrets of the world was unveiled. The 
Imperial City of Pekin had four years earlier been entered 
by Europeans ; and now the greater mystery was opened. 
The expedition had to wait some tune for a satisfactory 
end to its work. Thibet professed itself under the 
suzerainty of China, and awaited China's sanction to a 
treaty of commerce permitting the establishment of 
British trading posts. The treaty was signed about a 
month later. 

Russia, the still-dreaded influence on the northern 
frontiers of India, was too busily engaged elsewhere to 
take any hand in this matter. At the end of 1903 her 
relations with Japan had been growing very strained. 
Japan, regarding Russia's advance in Manchuria, had 
reason to suspect the establishment of Russian influence 
over Korea. This would have been too threatening 
an approach. She demanded from Russia reassurances 
as to Korea, the acknowledgement of the territorial 
integrity of Korea and the Chinese Empire, and equal 
rights of trade. Failing to get them, she declared war. 
The comparative size of the countries made it appear 
the struggle of a man against a giant ; but the Japanese 
had for years been perfecting their warlike resources on 


a European basis, and were believed to be a model of 
efficiency. They soon began to prove it. In February 
they sank several Russian battleships of the Port Arthur 
squadron. In April their forces carried the Ya-lu River 
against a vast Russian army ; and were making disposi- 
tions for attacking Port Arthur itself. In their turn 
they lost some warships by the action of floating mines. 
British sympathy was throughout with the Japanese. 
An extraordinary incident of the autumn produced the 
further element of active resentment against Russia. 
The Russian fleet in the Far East had been reduced to 
uselessness ; the ships that had not been sunk were 
blockaded in the harbour of Port Arthur. The Russian 
fleet in the Baltic was therefore ordered to the East, and 
left Kronstadt, under the command of Admiral Rozhdes- 
tvensky, at the end of August. It lingered about the 
Baltic for some time, and was not really on its way until 
October. Suddenly, on 23rd October, England was 
astounded to hear that the Hull fishing fleet had put 
into that port, with a tale of having been heavily fired 
upon by the Russian ships. A night or two earlier, while 
they were at their fishing in the North Sea, they had 
perceived the approach of a fleet. All at once search- 
lights were turned upon them, the warships opened fire, 
one trawler had been sunk, two others riddled with shot, 
and most serious of all two men had been killed, and 
sixteen wounded. The dead bodies, both of them head- 
less, were brought back to England. 

A storm of fury swept over the nation. The affair 
looked like a gratuitous piece of dastardly bullying. 
Men from the fleet were brought up to London on the day 
following their return, a Sunday, and crowds thronged 
about them. They were taken to the Foreign Office on the 
Monday, to give their evidence. The King, telegraphing 
his sympathy with the widows and the injured men, 
used the phrase, exceedingly strong for one in his position, 


" unwarrantable action." Public opinion demanded that 
a British fleet should instantly be despatched after the 
Russian ships, which had by this time gone down the Bay 
of Biscay, and should arrest them, by force, if necessary, 
in the Mediterranean. Nor is there any doubt that some 
such course would have been pursued, had not the Russian 
Government made immediately the amends dictated to it. 
It apologised in set terms, detained at Vigo that part of the 
fleet which had been responsible for the firing, paid liberal 
compensation, and agreed to an inquiry by an International 
Commission under The Hague Convention. It appeared 
that the Russians' defence of their action was that they 
had reason to suspect that Japan had sent torpedo boats 
to waylay their fleet, and they believed they saw torpedo 
boats lurking among the trawlers. This dispelled the 
appearance of mere wantonness in the firing ; but left a 
rather scornful opinion of the Intelligence Department 
that was directing the Russian fleet. By the end of the 
year the Japanese were closing on Port Arthur, having 
captured one of the most important hills among its out- 
works ; and firing from that hill over the town they sank 
the Port Arthur squadron at its moorings. 

In the quick settlement of the North Sea incident 
England certainly owed something to the support she had 
from Russia's ally, France. So rapidly had events moved 
since the Boer War, when we were on acrid terms with the 
whole Continent, that in 1904 France and Great Britain 
were in a position only just short of formal alliance. In the 
popular estimation, this was largely due to King Edward. 
He liked the French, and they liked him. He had a 
wonderful gift of being able to keep on terms not only with 
the aristocracy in Paris, but with the Republic as well. 
It was believed that his genial presence, and his conversa- 
tions with the President of the Republic, had paved the 
way quickly, so that in April of this year a formal agree- 
ment was signed. It was on lines of definite recognition of 


policy. We agreed to recognise French interests in Morocco, 
and they to recognise ours in Egypt ; we undertook not to 
alter the political status of Egypt, and they undertook 
to cease to ask for a fixed time for our withdrawal, and to 
leave us freer in dealing with Egyptian revenue surpluses. 1 
There were other items of mutual recognition, but these 
were the chief. The completion of the great irrigation 
dam at Assouan, which had been formally inaugurated 
by the Khedive in December 1902, promised new wealth to 
Egypt ; and English people felt that they had earned the 
acknowledgment of their rights in the guidance of that 
country. With Germany, meanwhile, our relations re- 
mained very guarded. King Edward visited the German 
Emperor at Kiel in June, and the German fleet visited 
Plymouth a week or two later ; but it was not likely that 
on the morrow of the agreement with France there would 
be much cordiality in these meetings. The French Foreign 
Minister, M. Delcasse 1 , gave signs of rather assertive views 
of French expansion. Besides, definite naval rivalry on 
our part with Germany was growing more marked ; " No 
phantom as to German aggression haunts us, but it is our 
duty to watch the progress of German naval power." 2 
The British Admiralty was in energetic hands. Sir John 
Fisher became First Sea Lord, and the fleets were being 
reorganised on a basis of commissioned squadrons with 
reserve ships manned by nucleus crews ; four powerful 
cruiser squadrons were formed to be attached to the fleets ; 
and homogeneity of ships in each battle or cruiser squadron 
was the object in view. The year gave a grim intimation 
that submarines had brought into the navy a service which 
would never have the safety of peace time : Submarine 
Al was sunk with all hands off the Nab lightship in March. 
The army manoeuvres of the year must be mentioned, 
because they showed the new spirit of reform in the un- 

1 See vol. i., p. 398. 

* The Times, ist July 1904. 


usually practical shape they took. Troops were conveyed 
in transports to the Essex coast, and the manoeuvres were 
designed on the scheme of an invasion. They proved rather 
more costly than instructive. In December began the 
rearming of the artillery which the Boer War had shown 
to be very necessary ; the new quick-firing guns a 12 - 
pounder for the Horse Artillery, and an 18|-pounder for 
the Field Artillery were believed to be really efficient. 

Church affairs for once provided something almost like 
a popular interest. T he case of the Free Church of Scotland 
was, indeed, in its reality as far as possible removed from 
the popular mind of England. Only in Scotland could 
a public be found hard-headed enough and sufficiently 
grounded in ecclesiastical controversy to follow the terrific 
metaphysical arguments before the House of Lords. The 
majority of the Free Church had in 1900 come to terms of 
union with the United Presbyterians, healing the famous 
breach of an earlier day. A minority of the Free Church 
a small minority, the " Wee Frees " their countrymen 
called them denied the right of the majority to consider 
this the end of the Free Church as a separate body, and 
claimed all the material goods of the Church. The Edin- 
burgh Court of Session decided against them, on the broad 
ground that to refuse to acknowledge the majority must 
hamper religious growth. The House of Lords, however, 
pinning itself strictly and heroically to the pure metaphysics 
of faith, upheld the Wee Frees, and put them in possession 
of something like four millions of property. This at least 
was real to the English public, and it took a kind of sporting 
interest in the decision. The Church of England remained 
successful in avoiding the deep ritual controversy ; Dr 
Wace, who had become Dean of Canterbury in succession 
to Dr Farrar in 1908, followed up the Round Table Con- 
ference by proposing that the basis of ritual practice should 
be the established uses of the Christian Church in the first 
six centuries of its existence. Compromise lay in too 


delicate a balance to be capable of accurate adjustments 
like this. Militant Church energy was for the moment 
engrossed chiefly in the region of education. Radical 
county councils hi Wales, not content with passive resist- 
ance, were so applying their powers as to render it unlikely 
that Church schools under their control would obtain any 
funds from the rates. On the other hand, the Government 
was wounded in the house of its friends when the Church 
Schools Emergency League publicly resented a circular 
of the Board of Education which intimated that school 
tune-tables allotting tune for the children's attendance 
at church would not be sanctioned. The insistence of the 
league in such a matter was exactly the kind of sectarian 
spirit which Unionists did not want in the foreground ; it 
went no small distance towards justifying Nonconformist 
refusal to pay rates for Church schools. The Board of 
Education was vigorously directed now, having been 
largely reconstituted under the Act of 1902, and placed 
under a secretary brought in from outside the regular 
Civil Service Mr Robert Morant. 

The growing strength of new movements in art and 
new standards of appreciation was revealed by the inquiry 
this year into the administration of the Chantrey Trust. 
The money, left by Sir Francis Chantrey to the Royal 
Academy, for the purchase of the best current work year 
by year in England, was never expended outside the walls 
of the Academy, although that had long ago ceased to be 
the only great public exhibition of pictures and sculpture. 
Moreover its disposal inside the Academy was bitterly 
criticised. A House of Lords committee was set up and 
art critics girded their loins for a joyous fray. It was a 
little more joyous than they had bargained for ; they met 
in Lord Carlisle, himself an artist of no mean reputation, 
a very doughty defender of the management of the trust, 
and, as he was also a wit, the crossing of swords was 
remarkably brisk. 


The interest in the Tariff controversy was, as has been 
said, extraordinarily maintained. Mr Chamberlain spoke 
in August at Welbeck, coming to closer quarters now with 
the agricultural interest, which had been postponed at first 
to industrial interests. They were not very close quarters. 
He tended in the main to plead that agriculture and manu- 
facture should not be regarded as in " water-tight compart- 
ments " ; what was good for the one would help the other. 
He did not put forward his two-shilling corn-duty as a 
protection to agriculture, because it was of the essence of 
the Tariff Reform League's recommendation of the scheme 
in towns that the tax would be insufficient to raise the price 
of bread. But a population more generally in employ- 
ment must, he said, mean better prices for the agriculturist, 
and more stimulus to organisation by co-operative market- 
ing, land banks, etc. The speech rather added to, than 
diminished, the openings for attack by the Free Traders. 
The tide still set in their direction. They had won a seat 
at Devonport in June by a majority of over 1000, and 
in the same month increased their former majority in the 
Market Harborough division ; at a by-election in the 
Chertsey division of Surrey, a thoroughly Unionist neigh- 
bourhood, though they failed to capture the seat, they 
halved the Unionist majority. At a by-election in the 
Thanet division of Kent, several leading Unionists had 
signed the Liberal candidate's nomination papers. It was 
no wonder that a speech by Mr Balfour at Edinburgh in 
October was looked upon as a distinct sign of " hedging." 
He repudiated any Protectionist intentions his proposals 
were not Protectionist. You could protect industries 
against the attack of foreign governments, delivered by 
such means as the bounty and drawback systems, without 
protecting them against honest manufacturing competition. 
But what caused most stir was his statement that, if the 
Unionists were again returned to power, they would 
consider it their duty to call a Colonial conference before 


proposing a tariff ; and he implied that that .tariff would be 
referred to another general election before it was enforced. 
This looked very much like a shelving of Colonial preference 
indefinitely, Liberals asserting roundly that, when it came 
to details at a conference, no tariff would ever be drawn 
up to command adhesion. Moreover, Mr Chamberlain had 
been involved so deeply in the Protectionist accretions on 
his original scheme that Mr Balfour's remarks might mean 
a parting of the ways. But Mr Chamberlain, speaking soon 
afterwards at Luton, the centre of the straw-hat industry, 
in pursuit of his campaign on particular manufactures, 
welcomed Mr Balfour's declaration. The suggestion may 
be offered that the difficulty which many people felt in 
understanding Mr Balfour's position arose largely from 
the modern habit of keeping a very short memory for 
public affairs. This was due to the enormous increase 
of newspaper-reading. With the whole world brought 
freshly to their breakfast-tables each day by the incessant 
activities of the telegraph, men lost much of their sense 
of continuity ; editors could hardly publish a paragraph on 
some affair of a month or a fortnight previously without 
a footnote to explain the references. One of the most 
curious features of Mr Chamberlain's campaign was the 
fact that it presented itself to the great majority of the 
people as a wholly new idea. It would not, perhaps, 
have been surprising that a younger generation should 
forget the " Fair Trade " movement of the early eighties. 1 
But it might reasonably surprise Mr Balfour that the 
country should so soon have forgotten the financial dis- 
cussions which immediately preceded Mr Chamberlain's 
famous speech in May 1903. 2 From several points of 
view, as we have seen, Unionists were then approaching 
a determination to reconsider the customs tariff. More- 
over, for years past the Budget had always been accom- 

1 Vol.- i:, pp. 57, 171. 
See p: 184. 


panied by comments on the obvious discrepancy between 
an increasing national turnover in trade and a perpetual 
liability to deficits in the public revenue. 1 Mr Balfour 
continued, in fact, to maintain the attitude occupied 
by most of his party, and by not a few of the opposite 
party, before Mr Chamberlain's formulation of these 
tentative reconsiderations into a set fiscal policy. It is 
true that the launching of this policy would have cast 
suspicion upon any attempt to return even to the wider, 
yet historically '* Free Trade " tariff of thirty or forty 
years earlier ; and to that extent Mr Balfour's continuity 
of opinion had been falsified. But it was not fair to him 
that people should think of his position as one taken up 
scramblingly in response to Mr Chamberlain's movement. 
It was naturally capable of approximation to that move- 
ment ; if the tariff was to be widened, the possibilities 
of retaliation against foreign duties, and of Colonial 
preference, might easily be taken into account. There 
was, however, nothing either incomprehensible or insincere 
in Mr Balfour's assertions that his was not a Protectionist 
policy; or in his refusal to sever himself from Mr 
Chamberlain. He represented exactly the development 
of Exchequer policy that would in all probability have 
taken place if Tariff Reform had not created a distrust of 
any extension of the list of dutiable articles. That the 
course of development was considerably modified by the 
new campaign was not any reason for allowing a wedge 
to be driven by opponents between himself and 
Mr Chamberlain. 

Even on the Unionist side there would have been some 
relief if a wedge could have been driven. The party, as 
a parliamentary entity, did not know where it stood. 
Mr Balfour professed adherence to a policy of inquiry, 
followed, in the event of victory at the next election, by a 
Colonial conference, but without intention of deliberately 

1 See pp. 45. '55- 


protecting industry. But then Mr Chamberlain, who was 
dealing with industry after industry, lamenting its 
accomplished or approximate downfall, and implying that 
his scheme would arrest the process, was publicly welcom- 
ing Mr Balfour's words. Many would have rested content 
with a policy of inquiry, little inspiriting though it was as 
a programme of leadership. But they could not escape the 
feeling that they were really being hustled to something 
much more definite, and would awake to find that, 
pursuing Mr Balfour, they had somehow come up with 
Mr Chamberlain. Was either of them really in command? 
Had not the Tariff Reform League taken charge ? They 
saw one of their soberest newspapers, The Standard, pass 
into the hands of Mr Pearson, an avowed Protectionist, 
and a prominent member of the Tariff Commission ; they 
heard rumours (promptly denied, it must be added) that 
even The Times might change hands. The ground seemed 
uncertain beneath their feet. The Unionist party organ- 
isation had definitely taken the step of allegiance to Mr 
Chamberlain, as against the Duke of Devonshire, who had 
attempted to maintain its original character as a body 
concerned with Irish legislation. As it happened, events 
in that connection towards the end of the year still further 
shook the Ministerialists. Lord Dunraven put forward, 
rather suddenly, a suggestion for "Legislative Devolution," 
which involved setting up a local legislature in Dublin to 
deal with Irish business, while avoiding matters of Imperial 
concern. It could hardly be regarded as anything but 
Home Rule under another name. Yet it came from a 
Unionist peer ; and what made it more serious was that 
Sir Antony Macdonnell, who at the end of a distinguished 
career in India had been appointed Under-Secretary for 
Ireland by Mr George Wyndham, was known to be con- 
cerned in the scheme, at least to the extent of advocating 
a financial " devolution." Mr Wyndham hastened to 
declare that the party was still " against any multiplication 


of legislative bodies." But there remained an uncom- 
fortable feeling that some sort of coquetting with Home 
Rule was going on ; and it added gravely to the party's 
embarrassment and uneasiness. If Mr Chamberlain, as 
appeared by his action in the matter of the Liberal Unionist 
Association, put his present campaign in a position which 
overruled the old meaning of the association, could that 
meaning be said to have any vitality at all ? 

For the most part the Unionist Free Traders refused to 
be excommunicated, and fought for their own hand. One 
of them, who had now come definitely into the front rank, 
Mr Winston Churchill, declined an equivocal standing, and 
joined the Liberals. He had previously shown himself 
almost too democratic for the other side ; and had been 
warned of his tendency to pursue " the somewhat devious 
paths by which his father climbed to power." x Before 
the notable new recruit joined them, Liberals lost a veteran 
from among their leaders. Sir William Harcourt, who 
had just inherited the family property at Nuneham, and, 
hoping for repose in that peaceful place, had intimated 
that he would not stand another election, died rather 
suddenly before he could attain his hope. His career had 
at the moment the melancholy aspect of frustration. His 
last years were belittled by the perpetual appearance of 
jealousy between him and Lord Rosebery, from the time 
when Lord Rosebery, and not he, had been sent for by 
the Queen in succession to Mr Gladstone. He was loyal 
to the true Gladstonianism in his attitude throughout the 
war ; but he was also Gladstonian in regard to modern 
social movements, and never understood the position of 
labour. Still, he might have led the party, but for a certain 
overbearing habit of mind ; it came out even in the long 
lectures which he read the Church of England on ritual 
subjects. Colleagues often found it difficult to work with 
him, and shrank from the prospect of working under him. 

1 Thf Timts, i4th August 1903. 


It remained his greatest glory to have achieved the one 
strikingly original conception of his time in national 
finance. The Death Duties of his Budget of 1894 had 
established themselves firmly in our fiscal system, and 
never failed in their productiveness. 



THE winter was a bad one for workmen. A grave 
lack of employment set in, and so much distress had 
been anticipated that a conference was held at the 
Local Government Board in the autumn of 1904. Relief 
works, as such, were not favoured ; the conference devoted 
itself rather to devising schemes of intercommunication be- 
tween local authorities, whereby any openings elsewhere 
might be made known in congested districts. The sugges- 
tion was made that any work projected by a local authority 
should be hurried forward, so as to absorb some labour 
during the distressed period. This constituted an attempt 
at least to arrive at a new formulation of the problem of 
the unemployed. Labour had little mobility ; and once it 
became congested in certain areas it was helpless. At the 
same time the ordinary processes of trade, using labour as 
raw material was used, were apt to set loose floating masses 
of it. A few firms made deliberate efforts to hold their 
workers together. Some years previously Messrs Cadbury 
had built a model village at Bourneville, near Birmingham, 
for the employees in their cocoa- works ; and in 1904 
Messrs Rowntree had done the same thing at New Earswick, 
near York. These were regarded "as rather philanthropic 
than business methods ; but when Messrs Lever, the soap 
manufacturers, built a model village at Port Sunlight, near 
Liverpool, it looked as if the decasualisation of labour might 
have a real business value in enhancing the energy, 
steadiness and intelligence of employees. The promoters 
of the Garden City Movement now put forward the possi- 


bility of transferring large works to the country, and there- 
by relieving town congestions. The garden city idea had 
gained its first strength from the middle-class reaction 
towards a country life. 1 But inherent in it was the belief 
that healthier conditions, and the decentralisation made 
possible by railway services, would help the efficiency of 
industry. These, however, were long-range attacks upon 
the problem. For the present, the bulk of the difficulty 
fell back upon the Central Unemployed Committee in 
London, which managed to find employment for 6000 
men. An attempt was made this year to deal with the 
matter by legislation ; a Bill was passed proposing to set 
up bodies, half-way between the Poor Law Guardians 
and private charity, which should provide work on farm 
colonies (an acknowledgment of Mr Joseph Fels's ideas) 
without the disqualification attaching to poor relief. 
The unemployed were a standing argument for the 
Tariff Reform movement. True, it was one of the wide 
arguments which on either side irritated opponents by 
their facility. The Free Traders' contrast between the 
big loaf and the little loaf was resented by the Tariff 
Reformers ; the latter's argument that retaliatory duties 
would provide " work for all " was equally resented by 
the Free Traders. Yet a political subject could hardly 
be rampant on every platform in the kingdom without 
producing these sweeping generalisations. Behind them 
acute brains were at work ; no question has ever 
been argued better in England. The most fundamental 
aspects of commerce were unearthed. Did Protection 
actually create trade, or only affect distribution ? Did 
Free Trade tend to the abolition of elementary forms of 
manufacture in favour of the more advanced and skilled 
forms ? Was not the phrase " invisible exports " merely 
another way of saying that we paid for the surplus of our 
imports in cash, instead of in exports that had given 

1 Seep. 138. 


employment ? Was it, on the other hand, possible in the 
last resort to pay (whatever the material of payment) in 
anything but work ? If we cut down our imports from 
a foreign nation, did we, or did we not, thereby destroy 
work that would have paid for those imports ? Of equal 
value with this seriousness of argument was the wholly 
new importance given to the interpretation of returns and 
statistics. The monthly returns of the Board of Trade 
appeared beyond all cavilling prosperous. But the 
figures of our trade were given in pounds sterling, and a 
rise in market prices might conceal a decline hi volume of 
output and therefore hi labour. The relations between 
wages and cost of living, the proportion of re-exports to 
the gross imports, the comparative figures of unemploy- 
ment in this country and elsewhere, comparative prices 
of means of life, comparative hours of work all these, 
and many other such points, were hotly debated. From 
the intricate transactions of a bill broker's office to the 
making of pearl buttons no single stone in our commercial 
structure was left unexamined. On neither side were the 
sweeping generalisations an outcome of laziness. 

Yet, if no question had ever been so handsomely dis- 
cussed in this country ; none had ever placed party voters in 
such a predicament as that now experienced by Unionists. 
In the Home Rule split the two wings of Liberalism had 
been led with determination in two clearly opposite direc- 
tions. In the later difficulties of Liberalism the Imperial- 
ists had frankly repudiated the party leader at the polls. 
Unionists were now confronted with a situation in which 
their leader was not repudiated, yet the policy which 
Liberals were attacking was not the official policy of that 
leader. Mr Balfour had begun the year by refusing to 
refer to the fiscal controversy in his speeches, leaving the 
propaganda to Mr Chamberlain. This attitude, since his 
constituency was East Manchester, in the cradle of Free 
Trade, made his meetings there so full of interruptions 


that it was hard indeed to remember, in reading the reports, 
that they were meetings addressed by a Prime Minister. 
He abandoned his attitude so far as to produce in January, 
at one of his meetings, in response to a challenge by Mr 
Morley, the famous statement of his policy " on a half- 
sheet of notepaper." These were the contents of the half- 
sheet : " First, I desire such an alteration of our fiscal 
system as will give us a freedom of action impossible while 
we hold ourselves bound by the maxim that no taxation 
should be imposed except for revenue. It will strengthen 
our hands in any negotiations by which we may hope to 
lower foreign hostile tariffs. It may enable us to protect 
the fiscal independence of those colonies which desire to 
give us preferential treatment. It may be useful where 
we wish to check the importation of those foreign goods 
which, because they are bounty-fed or tariff-protected 
abroad, are sold below cost price here. Such importations 
are ultimately as injurious to the consumer as they are 
immediately ruinous to the producer. Secondly, I desire 
closer commercial union with the colonies, and I do so 
because I desire closer union in all its best modes, and 
because this particular mode is intrinsically of great im- 
portance, and has received much Colonial support. I also 
think it might procure great and growing advantages both 
to the colonies and to the Mother Country by promoting 
freer trade between them. No doubt such commercial 
union is beset with many difficulties. These can best be 
dealt with by a Colonial conference, provided its objects 
are permitted to be discussed unhampered by limiting 
instructions. Thirdly, I recommend, therefore, that the 
subject shall be referred to a conference on those terms. 
Fourth, and last, I do not desire to raise home prices for 
the purpose of aiding home production." 

Mr Balfour could fairly assert that this document 
embodied all the prominent aspects of the question ; it 
included Colonial preference, retaliation against hostile 


tariffs, and the prevention of " dumping " (as the importa- 
tion of goods " below cost price " was called). Was it 
not, then, a definite piece of leadership ? But nearly two 
months elapsed before Mr Chamberlain and a conference 
of Tariff Reformers decided on hearty acceptance of the 
" half -sheet." This delay stimulated the feeling of 
uncertainty, and made unreal the announcement of loyal 
adhesion to Mr Balfour, when at last it was made. The 
agitation against which the Liberals were working did not 
desire the enunciation of our freedom from the maxim of 
taxation for revenue ; it desired the imposition of a tariff. 
It did not wish that tariff to be dependent on the decisions 
of a Colonial conference. Unionists felt, rightly or 
wrongly, that behind Mr Balfour's promises of considera- 
tion and inquiry they were being " rushed," and rushed 
not so much by Mr Chamberlain as by an organisation 
suspiciously packed with manufacturers. The questions 
their constituents put to them were aimed at this organisa- 
tion ; they had to reply from the wholly different plane 
of Mr Balfour. He had manoeuvred them into " dead 
ground," where they could not respond to the enemy's 
fire, but were peppered by their own shrapnel. It was 
a wholly false relief when Mr Balfour, adopting the 
attitude that debates on the subject in the House were 
purely " academic," since the Government did not pro- 
pose to take any steps, advised his party to abstain 
from the division, and himself walked out. Certainly 
divisions were not to be desired by the Government ; 
on a motion by Mr Churchill against preferential duties 
the Ministerial majority had fallen to forty-two. 
Yet abstention from the lobbies, besides having the 
absurd effect of placing on the Journals of the House 
an unopposed decision against the programme which Mr 
Balfour said he "desired," and which Mr Chamberlain 
was preaching as the whole duty of Unionists, had also an 
appearance of callousness to feeling outside the House. 


It was, no doubt, true that Liberals thirsted to pursue 
in the House the advantage they were gaining outside. 
Mr Balfour's difficulty arose from his continuance in 
office in almost unparalleled circumstances. 

The general assumption was that he wished by every 
possible means to avoid making an appeal to the country 
from a hopelessly divided party. Mr Chamberlain had 
asked at first for inquiry. Mr Balfour had not found 
himself so wedded to Free Trade principles as to be unable 
to go so far as this. But the inquiry had arisen spon- 
taneously. It was no longer a question of returning a 
government to investigate, but one of returning either a 
government which should alter our fiscal relations, or one 
which should not. The only hope then was to prolong the 
period of discussion, hi order that the more exact argu- 
ments might have time to emerge from the generalities, 
hi order even that Unionists should have time to learn the 
arguments ; in order lastly, perhaps, that the actual 
proposals might shake themselves clear of the obscuring 
cloud of Protectionist schemes which had with such violent 
energy swarmed upon Mr Chamberlain's idealism. This 
last hope is clear from a pronouncement by Mr Chamber- 
lain at Birmingham quite late in the year, when there was 
no longer much doubt of an approaching election ; he 
said that there would be no possibility of a reversion to 
Protection ; all that was wanted was a modification of 
the Free Trade system. 1 It seemed that Mr Balfour 
remained in office to try to take to the polls a party 
enunciating a policy of its own, and not forced merely to 
defend against Liberals the policy of the Tariff Reform 
League. He wanted to occupy a kopje of his own choosing, 
and to bring the Liberal attack upon this ; the kopje 
against which that attack was being directed had been so 
bombarded that its trenches, to an army being forced back 
upon it, appeared little but pitfalls. 

1 Tht Times, 4th November 19051 


But, in avoiding one danger, Mr Balfour was caught 
by another. He gave his opponents what amounted to a 
year's start in an election campaign. The party in office 
must as a rule be more on the defensive than on the offen- 
sive. Moreover a session with an insignificant legislative 
programme made administration peculiarly liable to attack. 
The uneasiness caused by Lord Dunraven's devolution 
proposals was busily kept alive. It was seen that Sir 
Antony Macdonnell's position offered the best point of 
concentration. The Government was not allowed to ride 
off on the line that he was a subordinate official. Could 
that description, it was asked, properly be applied to one 
who had been lieutenant-governor of an Indian province ? 
A man did not return from the crest of one service to take 
a merely subordinate post in another. It was, in any case, 
curious that a distinguished Indian civilian should join 
the executive hi Ireland. The next step in conjecture 
was boldly taken : Mr Wyndham must have promised 
Sir Antony Macdonnell somewhat the position of a col- 
league, and in that case there had been more than coquet- 
ting with Home Rule. The conjecture proved to be not 
far astray, as regarded the terms on which Sir Antony 
took office. Now arose an outcry from Unionists ; Mr 
Wyndham might make all manner of explanations, but, 
while Sir Antony remained in his post, the explanations 
were futile. The correspondence between the two on the 
subject of the under-secretaryship was published ; the 
Government majority on an Irish question fell to forty-two. 
This state of affairs could not last ; Mr Wyndham had to 
resign, which he did on 6th March. He had by general con- 
sent done brilliantly with the Irish Land Bill ; he was well 
liked in the House, and his term of office in Ireland had 
been calm and hopeful. To Irish Unionists this hope- 
fulness had now a suspicious tinge. No trafficking with 
Nationalist ideals could be allowed, and Mr Wyndham 
was thrown over. The whole affair damaged Mr Balfour's 


position ; either he had not kept an eye on his Chief 
Secretary, or he had made a Strafford of him. It was not 
thought at all improbable that, with the warning of the 
by-elections before his eyes, Mr Balf our had conceived the 
possibility of withdrawing Irish support from the Liberals 
hi the next House of Commons. What was described as 
" the severest electoral blow that the Government has 
had to suffer " occurred in April. 1 At Brighton, with 
all its naturally Conservative traditions and feelings, a 
Unionist majority of 2000 was swept away, and a Liberal 
returned, in spite of the Unionist candidate being a well- 
known resident. There were undoubtedly special elements 
in the contest, the local Unionists disliking the arrange- 
ments proposed by the central organisation for the next 
general election ; Sir Edward Clarke, who had opposed 
the war, being a prospective Unionist candidate. But 
while this accounted for part of the turnover, the fear of a 
rise in prices under a tariff alarmed lodging-house keepers, 
as it had done in the Thanet election, where Margate and 
Ramsgate were concerned. Moreover, the dislike of 
Chinese labour on the Rand was as active here as it had 
been in other constituencies. In vain the use made of 
this cry by the Opposition was denounced by Ministeria- 
lists ; in vain were their attacks described as " clouds of 
sentimental error." 2 In vain was it pointed out that, 
if the actual labourers were Chinese, the opening and 
working of the mines (which would not have occurred, 
it was remarked, without them) gave employment to white 
overseers and white employees of other kinds. The 
stubborn fact remained that, after all the cost of the war, 
the mine-owners had been allowed to import cheap labour 
on ignominious terms. Hence the strength of the double 
attack of the Radicals that the war had been fought on 
behalf of, if not actually at the bidding of, a number of 

1 The Times , 6th April 1905. 
* Ibid., 1 8th March 1904.- 


more or less alien financiers, and that the Government 
had consented to the establishment of a form of slavery. 
Both were sweeping generalisations, of the kind that 
produced, so much irritation in the tariff controversy. 
But both had a substratum of truth. The mine-owners 
had certainly been allowed to force their case ; and the 
indentured Chinese were in no sense members of the 
community. Such heat of feeling was engendered that 
Mr Lyttelton was howled down in the House by the 
Opposition when the subject came up in debate, and 
the sitting had to be adjourned. Mr Balfour himself was 
similarly howled down on another occasion. These were 
undignified incidents in an undignified session. 

It ran its course for the regulation period. But little 
reality was in it. When the Government began to talk of 
some redistribution resolutions a hint of dissolution 
it came out that Mr Balfour had taken so perfunctory 
an interest in them that he had not even consulted the 
Speaker as to the procedure. The resolutions, it was ruled, 
could not be submitted en bloc, but must go into Committee 
under eight or nine heads. They had to be dropped. 
Mr Balfour was uncertain about his followers, who were 
becoming increasingly slack in attendance ; and on 20th 
July, upon a motion by the Irish leader, Mr Redmond, 
for reducing the salary of the Chief Secretary, the Ministry 
was defeated by 199 votes to 196. This was not a small 
House ; and only two days earlier Mr Balfour, at a party 
meeting, had been urgent with his supporters to attend 
more faithfully. It was not an impossible opportunity 
for resignation ; and the mass of Unionists in the country 
were really more annoyed than the Liberals when Mr 
Balfour refused to resign. They could not understand 
what he was waiting for, with the building, so to speak, 
crumbling about his ears. There was in the constituencies 
much less hope of the emergence of a party policy than Mr 
Balfour himself would appear to have been led by. 


Every incident seemed to occur with some grudge 
against the Government. With trade not yet on its feet 
again, and a disturbed feeling, due to the invasions of 
American capital, 1 that big combinations were in the air, 
of which the first profits went to the promoters, 2 the 
revenue remained stagnant. It was, indeed, only 24,000 
under the estimate ; but that result had been achieved 
by a greater stringency in the collection of income-tax, 
which had thereby produced an unexpected million and 
a quarter. Useful as the greater stringency might be, 
it was not quite the way for an expiring government 
to recommend itself to the country. Then an extra- 
ordinary religious revival in South Wales, due to the 
preaching of Evan Roberts, gave backing to the Non- 
conformist resentment of the Education Act, and to the 
Liberal attacks on the Licensing Act ; it flung at the 
Ministry the unpleasant cry of " Beer and the Bible." 
The revival half -emptied in some places more than hah* 
emptied the public-houses and the football grounds. 
It made the light of the Torrey-Alexander mission in 
London, taking place at this date, show rather pale. 

The promise of a payment of thirty millions from the 
Transvaal towards the war proved double-edged. It had 
sounded well at first ; but as time went on, and nothing 
more was beard of it, it opened another point of attack. 
The Boers were declining to take any part in public life 
until responsible government should be granted ; and Lord 
Milner, coming home in March and closing his term of 
control in South Africa, came back to no striking reception. 
The appointment of a Royal Commission on War Stores 
revived the least happy passages in the Ministry's career ; 
and the satisfaction with the progress of army reform was 
checked by the sudden announcement that a new rule, 
shorter in the barrel than the existing one, was to be 


8 The Times, ist January 1905. 


introduced. This " arbitrary rearmament " l looked 
like a return from large matters to tinkerings. 

When it began to be known that Lord Curzon and Lord 
Kitchener were in acute disagreement, it seemed that even 
the ends of the earth were having their kick at the Ministry. 
Here was their own Viceroy, honoured by appointment to 
a second term of office a thing which had never happened 
before quarrelling publicly with the great soldier whom 
the Government had sent proudly to command in India 
three years ago. Lord Kitchener was at work reorganis- 
ing the distribution and commands of the Indian army. 
The point of conflict was that Lord Kitchener wanted to 
abolish the Military Member of the Viceroy's council, 
holding that this post practically amounted to a dual 
control with the Commander-in -Chief ; while Lord Curzon 
maintained that the Viceroy must have the independent 
advice of the Military Member, and introduced a note of 
personal recrimination hi remarking that Lord Kitchener 
had, after all, had the full support of the Council in his 
reforms. Lord Curzon in the end resigned ; but, though 
the Government was thus saved from the public blow 
that Lord Kitchener's resignation would have dealt it, 
it had given one more impression of muddling. 

The failing heart of politics seemed to weaken the 
circulation all through the national system. It was a 
year without excitements or interests. The rather hazy 
popularity of Japan waxed with her deliberate, amazingly 
patient, amazingly gallant victories. Port Arthur fell 
in January, after eight months of isolation and five of 
actual siege, counting from the attack on the outlying 
defences. The story of every battle brought to England 
the same account of the Japanese coolness and disregard 
of death. In March the battle of Mukden, fought for 
several days, turned the Russians back practically into 
their old territory. In April the fleet of Admiral Rozh- 
1 The Times, 3rd February 1905. 


destvensky, which had made a hesitating passage, appeared 
in the Pacific ; but displayed a tendency to hang about the 
coasts of French colonies, while Japan protested at this 
apparent affording of shelter, and France denied having 
any such intention. In August the fleet made its desperate 
effort to reach Vladivostok, fell into the grip of the 
Japanese fleet in the straits of Tsu-Shima, and was, at long 
range, pounded to extinction with hardly any casualties 
on the Japanese side. The apostles of efficiency took the 
opportunity offered by the popular enthusiasm for Japan ; 
she had shown how an efficient nation could carry through 
a war. It should be noted here that in February the 
international commission on the North Sea incident * gave 
its finding, practically granting all the British case ; the 
judgment was that there had been no torpedo boats 
among the fishing fleet, that the fishing fleet committed 
no hostile act, that the firing by the Russian fleet was 
not justified, and was continued too long. 

The opening of the breach between Norway and Sweden 
the ostensible bone of contention being Norway's 
demand for a separate consular service, which was merely 
a formula for her assertion of completely different interests 
in trade, manufacture and customs tariff had more in- 
timate associations for Great Britain than at first seemed 
likely. When the separation had been peaceably accom- 
plished, Norway, looking round for a sovereign, offered her 
throne to Prince Charles of Denmark ; and, as he had 
married King Edward's youngest daughter, our King be- 
came related to one more European sovereign. 

The quality of our agreement with France had been 
expressed in a phrase new to the British public. It 
hardly savours too much of cynicism to say that this fact 
greatly assisted the establishment of friendly feelings. 
The " entente cordiale " became a street catchword ; 
and so an idea that might have taken years to bear fruit 

1 See p. 220. 


found its way at once to the populace. If it had remained 
entirely, or even almost entirely, on the diplomatic plane, 
it would have been seriously shaken this year. For, as far 
as the principal bargain was concerned, France appeared 
to have made a miscalculation. She had bargained a 
certainty in Egypt against a speculation in Morocco. 
The situation in Egypt had lasted long enough to make 
our position assured. But it soon appeared that there were 
others besides ourselves with a word to say about Morocco. 
The German Emperor visited Tangier in the spring of 
1905 ; and in a speech there remarked that he could not 
allow any power to step between him and the free sovereign 
of a free country. Incidentally, this event gave a new text 
for the Free Traders. A nation that set up tariffs and 
protected markets, like the French, could not move a step 
towards new expansion without alarming a great trading 
nation like Germany. Expansion to France meant a new 
closed market : expansion to us meant a new open market 
for everybody. But this was a minor aspect of the affair. 
The more important aspect was that friction arose between 
France and Germany, and arose from an agreement of 
which we seemed to be getting the only profit. As it 
turned out, the storm fell solely upon M. Delcasse. King 
Edward went yachting in the Mediterranean in the spring, 
and, both on his way south and on his return, he stopped 
at Paris to visit President Loubet. M. Delcasse" could not 
be saved. A logical people, like the French, could see the 
mistake he had made, and hi June he resigned the Foreign 
Ministry. It was thought, perhaps with some truth, 
that Russia's grievous preoccupation in the Far East, 
paralysing her for the moment in Europe, had deprived 
M. Delcasse" of power upon which he had relied. A meeting 
between the Tsar of Russia and the German Emperor on 
their yachts in the Baltic added to French uneasiness. 
But the friendliness with England stood the strain. The 
French fleet visited Spithead in July, and was feted ; 


the Municipal Council of Paris visited the London County 
Council in September, and were received by the King. 

But those who looked below the surface found more 
cause for anxiety than for ease. Superficially, it appeared 
we had advanced beyond our position of a few years back, 
when the whole Continent had been stirred against us by 
the Boer War. In the summing up of the career of Mr 
Balfour's Government after his resignation, the most 
prominent piece of enduring achievement was found in 
Lord Lansdowne's policy of ceasing " to treat foreign 
problems as isolated affairs." l This referred to his 
success in welding together in the Anglo-French agreement 
a variety of large and small questions which had for years 
been opened at any moment of strained relations. But 
he seemed to be little alive to the danger of the Anglo- 
French agreement becoming in a different sense an 
isolation of foreign problems, if it developed into an 
understanding exclusive of other nations. With an eye 
upon this danger a committee was formed in November 
of persons anxious to prevent this kind of impression 
arising in the mind of Germany. 

It was a merit in Lord Lansdowne, less remarked at the 
time, but warmly appreciated by many who kept alive the 
Gladstonian belief in international righteousness, that he 
took a courageous and liberal attitude upon such subjects 
as Macedonia and the Congo. A rising in Macedonia had 
been severely repressed by Turkey in 1903. Those who set 
on foot relief funds for the oppressed had reason to be 
grateful to Lord Lansdowne for the support he gave them 
in enabling them to administer the fund in Macedonia. 
In the matter of the Congo, it was to Lord Lansdowne 
that the famous report of Consul Casement was due. 
The agitation for reform in the Congo had been gaining 
strength, slowly but surely. Suspicion arising from the 
testimony of missionaries, backed by the practical closing 
1 The Times, 5th December 1905. 


of the trading districts to all but Belgian officials, and 
strengthened by the revelations of the vast revenue 
which the region was producing, had led to more deliberate 
inquiry. But while several people were vaguely concerned 
about the matter, one man made it his deepest concern. 
Mr E. D. Morel laboured unceasingly at collating all the 
evidence that could be gathered the positive evidence, 
of witnessed cases of cruelty to natives, and the indirect 
evidence, implied in the concealment practised, and the 
enormous quantities of rubber which were produced 
quantities which alone amounted almost to proof of the 
gravest extremes of forced labour. The Aborigines' 
Protection Society had prevailed upon >Lord Lansdowne 
to authorise an investigation ; the Congo State had been 
founded by international agreement, and it could not be 
denied that any country concerned in that agreement had 
a right to be reassured as to the condition of the natives 
handed over by it. Consul Casement's report was the most 
serious justification of the charges of savage cruelty, 
murder, and conditions of slavery, prevailing under the 
administration of the King of the Belgians. It was an 
awful commentary on the enthusiasm with which this 
region had been handed over to the blessings of " civilisa- 
tion." A public meeting in 1904 demanded an extension of 
the British consular service on the Congo, and the summon- 
ing of an international Conference of the Powers that had 
joined in founding the Congo State. Lord Lansdowne 
stood by the demand, and a conference, with Mr Casement's 
report before it, met in Brussels in January 1905. It was 
confronted with difficulties. The terms on which the 
territory was held, while they threw no responsibility on 
Belgium as a nation, yet allowed the King of the Belgians 
to play upon national susceptibilities. But by this time 
a force of opinion had been roused in Great Britain which, 
united into the Congo Reform Association, could not easily 
be destroyed. 


In September Dr Barnardo died suddenly. His work 
for destitute children had become such a recognised and 
admirable part of the life of the nation that people realised 
almost with a ishock the greatness of it as an individual 
achievement. He had set on foot forty years earlier, 
by his own unaided effort, an organisation which now 
possessed homes in London 'and the country capable of 
housing, educating and training for a useful life thousands 
of the waifs and strays of city streets. In the forty years 
he had rescued from the gutter no less than 60,000 children. 
They had been kept until they were fitted by training for 
artisan's work, for domestic service or for emigration ; 
17,000 had been sent to occupations in Canada. Helpers 
had gathered about him, and his work was now on a plane 
of established success. But at his grave his own great 
personal devotion was recognised. 

Another by-election in the autumn, again a striking 
Liberal victory, the seat for the Barkston Ash division 
of Yorkshire being won against a Unionist candidate 
belonging to a great local family, Mr Lane-Fox, revived 
the weary wonder as to how many more blows Mr Balfour 
was going to await. Mr Chamberlain was openly pressing 
for a dissolution. The party, as he said at Birmingham, 
might lose the battle, but on what other issue than Tariff 
Reform would it be more likely to win ? One incident 
occurred to demonstrate what it was that Mr Balfour had 
waited for. Speaking hi November he appealed to the 
party to fight for his idea of a kind of educational campaign 
on the subject, which should end in empowering a Unionist 
Government to frame some suggestions. Mr Chamberlain 
promptly responded with an appeal to fight for the more 
drastic end of empowering a Unionist Government to set 
up a tariff, and then make its offers from a definite stand- 
point to the colonies. The issue was thus after all cleared 
only for the Liberals, and not at all for the Unionists. 
It hardly mattered to Liberals that Lord Rosebery, 


speaking at Bodmin about this time, should repudiate 
Home Rule, and refuse emphatically to fight under that 
banner, to which Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman had just 
been reasserting his allegiance. Differences of this kind 
were as nothing in the shadow of the more violently agitated 

;One card remained for Mr Balfour to play, and he 
played it. By resigning, rather than dissolving, he might 
so force into the open the old disagreements between the 
Radicals and the Liberal Imperialists that the Opposition, 
instead of carrying on triumphantly their Free Trade 
campaign, would be suddenly disunited and discounten- 
anced by a public and ludicrous failure to form a ministry. 
The feeling for some time had been that, even if Mr Balfour's 
Government was weak, Liberals could hardly produce any- 
thing better. If Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman were sent 
for, would the Liberal Imperialists think of taking office 
under a man who had but lately been so unpopular ? If 
Lord Rosebery were sent for, Radical extremists would be 
infuriated. By all the indications it was at least an open 
chance that there might be, if not actual failure to form a 
ministry, at any rate failure to form anything but a make- 
shift cabinet. By compelling the Liberals to present to 
a general election their actual cabinet, Mr Balfour might 
produce a spectacle which, even for the sake of Free Trade, 
the country might be unable to tolerate. 

On 4th December, Mr Balfour therefore resigned ; 
and on the 5th Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman became 
Prime Minister. Ten and a half years had passed since the 
last Liberal Government expired, and of that Government 
Sir William Harcourt, Lord Kifnberley and Lord Hers- 
chell were dead ; Lord Rosebery was ostentatiously standing 
aside ; Lord Spencer was at the moment seriously ill ; Lord 
Ripon was seventy-four, Sir Henry Fowler seventy-five; Sir 
George Trevelyan, Mr ShawLefevre, Mr Arnold Morley and 
Mr Arthur A eland were no longer in political life. Of men 


of cabinet rank there remained only Sir Henry Campbell- 
Bannerman, Mr Morley, Mr Asquith, Mr Bryce and Lord 
Tweedmouth. Men who had earned cabinet rank since 
those days were easily discerned in Sir Edward Grey, 
Mr Haldane, Lord Elgin, Sir Robert Reid, Mr Herbert 
Gladstone and Mr Lloyd George. Out of these two groups 
three of the most important men, Mr Asquith, Sir Edward 
Grey and Mr Haldane, were avowed Liberal Imperialists ; 
Mr Asquith and Sir Edward Grey had both repudiated 
Home Rule. One curious element in the speculation of the 
moment must be mentioned. It was assumed at once that 
Labour would have a representative in the Cabinet. 1 
Nothing could have shown more clearly the great advance 
which Labour politics had made. The last glimpse of an 
older fashion remained in the doubt whether this represen- 
tative would be Sir Charles Dilke who, though admirably 
informed on Labour questions and deeply understanding 
them, was of the cabinet tradition in rank or whether it 
would be Mr John Burns. Speculation took another turn 
in the suggestion that Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman 
might go to the House of Lords, partly because it was 
thought that he might not be a match for Mr Balf our and 
Mr Chamberlain in the Commons, and partly because, 
if the Liberal Imperialists had the chief places in the 
Commons, that might provide a bridge to bring them into 
the Cabinet ; indeed, it was rumoured on 8th December 
that Sir Edward Grey had declined office because Sir 
Henry Campbell-Bannerman refused to translate himself 

Rumour had but a few days in which to exercise itself. 
On llth December the list of the new Government was 
published, and it was seen that there were no notable 
absentees. The list was almost dull, after the days of 
gossip about it. Nearly everything had fallen out in the 
most obvious way. Mr Asquith was at the Exchequer ; 
1 See, e.g. t The Times, 5th December 1905. 


Sir Edward Grey at the Foreign Office ; Mr Haldane at the 
War Office. Sir Robert Reid was Lord Chancellor ; Lord 
Elgin took the Colonial Office ; Mr Lloyd George the Board 
of Trade; Lord Aberdeen the Viceroyalty of Ireland. 
One or two of the appointments were mildly surprising. 
Mr Morley went to the India Office ; it was, perhaps, 
only his friends who fully understood to what degree the 
presence of this deeply philosophical, courageous and lofty 
mind in control of India would liberate the Ministry's 
energies for its home work. There were traps enough 
ready for any man in that post whose zeal was greater than 
his intellect. Mr Herbert Gladstone at the Home Office 
was a surprise of rather a different kind ; but he might 
prove an able administrator. Mr Churchill, as Under- 
secretary for the Colonies, was considered to be a rash 
experiment ; he had a vigorous tongue, and the colonies 
were prone to stand on their dignity. Mr Birrell as 
President of the Board of Education was hailed as a 
distinctly happy thought ; a man of letters with a turn 
for office could not be more neatly placed. The Labour 
member of the Cabinet had the office most naturally 
congenial to him: Mr John Burns was at the Local 
Government Board. 

Not the smallest of small change for electoral purposes 
was, after all, to be got by the Tories out of Liberal dis- 
agreements ; there was, indeed, some attempt to suggest 
that, if the Liberal Imperialists had joined the Government, 
a bargain must have been made which would hold back 
any legislation vigorously democratic. But there was a 
shrewd suspicion that there had been no bargaining ; it 
was said that Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman had made 
his offers, had held no parleys, and had asked after a 
reasonable interval for a definite reply. There was a 
momentary recurrence of gossip in view of the forthcom- 
ing meeting of the Liberal League, which Lord Rosebery 
was to address ; would there be any revelations ? Lord 


Rosebery, quietly congratulating the league on the pre- 
sence in the Cabinet of three of its prominent members, 
remarked only that, for reasons unknown to him, but which 
obviously seemed to them good, they had taken office. 
It was hardly conceivable that, if there had been bargain- 
ing, he should not have known of it, nor been consulted. 

Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman had the incidental 
honour of being the first Prime Minister with an official 
status as Prime Minister. Hitherto the chief adviser of the 
Crown had always held some office, even if only formally ; 
the premiership had been a practice, not a constitutional 
position. The Premier, in matters of court precedence, 
took rank according to the Cabinet office he held, usually 
that of First Lord of the Treasury. King Edward had 
been desirous of regulating the position, and making the 
post of Prime Minister an office by itself. Mr Balfour 
preferred that the change should be made for his suc- 
cessor, and it waited therefore till Sir Henry Campbell- 
Bannerman's appointment. Then a Royal Warrant was 
issued, giving the Prime Minister precedence next after 
the Archbishop of York ; and establishing his position 
as an office of State. 



THE general election of January 1906 produced the 
most sweeping reversal of party balance ever ex- 
perienced in the House of Commons. Parliament 
was dissolved on 8th January ; and so keen was the eager- 
ness to open the fray that one borough, Ipswich, went to 
the poll on 12th January twenty-four hours ahead of 
what was generally regarded as the first possible polling 
day. This unprecedented effort gave the Liberals their 
first victory, the borough returning two Liberals, instead 
of one Liberal and one Conservative. The uncontested 
elections were extraordinarily few no more than four 
or five in Great Britain. The first considerable polling 
day, 18th January, brought results so astounding that it 
appeared incredible that they could be real indications. In 
Manchester alone five seats had been won by the Liberals, 
and they included Mr Balfour's seat. When the excited 
crowds went to bed on that Saturday night the returns 
stood at 52 Liberal, Labour and Nationalist members, 
and 14 Unionists. There was at that moment one 
consideration with which Unionists could solace them- 
selves. Lancashire had, as usual, been foremost in the 
polling, and in that county above all the Free Traders 
would be most sure of their ground. But the polls of 
Monday, spread over the whole country, were no less 
menacing. That day's results gave a return of 182 
Liberals, Labour members and Nationalists, and only 
80 Unionists. Mr Gerald Balfour and Mr Long had 
followed their leader into exile. On the Tuesday night 


the Liberal gains already amounted to 84, and the Union- 
ists had won but a single seat, that at Hastings ; two more 
members of the late ministry, Mr Lyttelton and Mr Arthur 
Elliot, had been defeated. With only 247 members of the 
new House returned, the majority of 68, with which the 
Unionists had gone to the country, had been converted 
to a minority of 98. A week after polling had begun, the 
Liberals had a majority which was independent of the 
Irish vote. With fading hopes, Unionists turned their eyes 
to the rural constituencies ; but these went as heavily 
against them as the towns. When the last returns were 
in, the total net gains of the Liberals stood at 212 ; and 
the astonishing new House was composed of 397 Liberals, 
51 Labour members, 83 Nationalists and 157 Unionists. 
There was a possible maximum majority for the Govern- 
ment of 856 ; without the Nationalists it had a majority 
of 273 ; and, in the improbable event of the Nationalists 
and Labour members going into the division lobby with 
the Opposition, the Liberals singlehanded could defeat 
that combination by the handsome majority of 88. 

The result baffled all attempts to explain it. Many 
of those who made attempts had been watching the course 
of the election from London, where it might well appear as 
almost a nightmare. The modern competition of news- 
papers for the public fancy turned the political contest into 
a kind of sporting race. They recorded its progress 
exactly as they had recorded contests for the America 
Cup, by coloured lights. At various points, such as the 
National Liberal Club on the Embankment and the corner 
buildings in Trafalgar Square, magic lanterns displayed 
the results on huge sheets. But the newspaper organisa- 
tions fixed rather on the large space of waste ground at 
Aldwych, cleared by the County Council's improvement 
scheme, as the ideal spot for the show. Here night by 
night immense crowds blocked the roadways under a glare 
of coloured lights and magic lantern beams from half -a- 


dozen buildings. The magic lanterns projected names and 
figures ; the coloured rays, too impatient for the process 
of writing upon the lantern slides, darted blue or red into 
the air. From one roof blue and red rockets exploded, 
to carry news to inhabitants of the heights of the 
Crystal Palace or Hampstead. Blue and red Bengal fires 
would be burning in another place. The crowd, garishly 
illuminated, seemed in the mass to have no thought more 
stable than if it were still being informed about the America 
Cup. The cheering of a Liberal victory might be answered 
by a heavy roar of hooting ; but in the next minute the 
defeat of Mr Balfour himself would be greeted with excited 
laughter. In the great genial easiness of the london 
crowd it was impossible to discern what was going on. 
Yet even London was stirred by the impulse at work, 
to the point of returning a remarkable proportion of 
Liberal members. 

In their effort to understand the disaster which had 
overtaken them, Unionists agreed upon one point that 
their organisation had been slack and imperfect. The 
inertia of the party had not been confined to the House 
of Commons ; the constituencies had been neglected. 
They agreed also in attributing much to the swing of 
the pendulum. Unionism had had ten years of office ; the 
country desired a change, and the events of the past two 
years the disagreements about Tariff Reform, the main- 
tenance in office of a weak cabinet, the uncertain leader- 
ship had added impatience and irritation to the desire. 
The fate of the Unionist Front Bench certainly gave some 
reality to the traditional opinion of a defeated party that, 
however well governments did, the country always tired 
of them. The defeats of ministers and under-secretaries 
were as much a marked feature of this election as the 
extraordinary number of seats gained by the Liberals. 
Mr Balfour, Mr Lyttelton, Mr Walter Long, Mr Gerald 
Balfour, Mr Pretyman, Mr Arthur Elliot, Mr Brodrick, 


Lord Stanley, Mr Ailwyn Fellowes, Mr Bonar Law ; and 
among members who had formerly been in office, Mr 
Chaplin and Sir William Hart Dyke these made a total 
of twelve occupants of the Unionist Front Bench rejected 
by the electorate. Nor was the case less striking from the 
point of view of the offices they had held ; that the Prime 
Minister, the Colonial Secretary, the Secretary for War, 
the President of the Board of Trade, the President of the 
Local Government Board and the Postmaster-General 
of the late Unionist Government should all be defeated 
gave to the election results a flavour of something very 
much like deliberate punishment on the part of the 

To those who merely sought for the immediate explana- 
tions, the use made by the Liberals of their two main 
platform cries accounted for much. Unionists bitterly 
resented the employment by Liberals of certain cartoons 
and posters. One especially, representing Chinese in 
chained gangs being driven to the mines, was denounced 
as absolute misrepresentation. A Blue Book had been 
published, on the eve of the election, reporting on the com- 
fortable conditions provided for the indentured labourers 
in the compounds ; and it was angrily urged that these 
conditions could not possibly be fairly spoken of as slavery, 
much less represented by chains. Yet the poster would 
have had little real effect had there not been, among 
ordinary Englishmen, a dislike both of the introduction of 
coolie labour and of the idea of the " compound " system. 
The fact that indentured coolie labour had gone on for 
years in other parts of the empire was of no avail against 
the unhappy prominence which it had attained in the case 
of the Rand. Nor could there be, in the last resort, much 
sympathy for the Unionists. That very Colonial ideal 
which they had done so much to foster played its part 
against them, in the resentment of the other colonies at 
the employment of Chinese. Moreover the plea, genuine 


as it was, that the Rand mines would not be opened 
unless the Chinese Labour Ordinance were sanctioned, 
was an undignified position to have to take. It lent 
itself too easily to the view that we had fought for the 
mine-owners after all. 

Unionist complaints about misrepresentation of the 
Tariff Reform ideal were also frequent, but are to be 
more easily dismissed. Wholesale catch-phrases about 
" the food of the people " were no more common than 
equally wholesale catch-phrases about " Work for All," or 
" The Foreigner will Pay," or " Tariff Reform means Social 
Reform." Argument both conscientious and acute was 
not lacking on either side. But the complicated move- 
ment which had sprung into being around Mr Chamber- 
lain's central idea had this grave defect it made visible 
the danger that, if once considerations other than those 
of revenue directed the framing of budgets, no one could 
arbitrarily limit those considerations. If a proposal for 
Colonial preference could so rapidly shift into proposals 
for retaliation on hostile tariffs, and for protection of 
home industries, if the ideal of a commercially united 
empire so naturally absorbed in its progress ideals of 
generally regulated imports, would not similar shiftings, 
similar absorptions, be likely to attend the framing of a 
tariff ? It may have been an obscure feeling against 
Tariff Reform that turned the main current of the election ; 
but a feeling is not necessarily the less genuine for being 
obscure. At any rate, so strong a national conviction, after 
two and a half years of incessant argument by either side, 
was a great and incontrovertible fact. 

Beneath all the recriminations and all the analysing 
of party cries, both sides displayed a consciousness that 
there was profound and serious meaning in what had taken 
place. Both sides were startled. To account for the 
results by saying that the working men were having their 
day that the franchise extensions of 1867 and 1885 had 


now been given their first full expression by the genera- 
tion that had come to electoral age since the Elementary 
Education Acts and the circulation of cheap newspapers 
was too superficial to be satisfying. 1 The working man's 
politics were no longer the united Radical force of the 
Chartist days, and the most exclusively industrial towns 
could show a Unionist poll too considerable to be made 
up entirely of small tradesmen and out-voters. Yet it was 
plain that the Labour vote had become a new thing. In 
the constituencies accustomed to return Labour members 
such as Newcastle, Northumberland, and some of the 
mining towns the Labour majority had become over- 
whelming ; in other industrial places such as Barrow-in- 
Furness, Middlesborough, Stockport, St Helen's Labour 
candidates had swept out of the field the Unionists who 
had held those seats. The Labour party for the first 
time became more than a group in the House ; fifty-one 
members made it genuinely a fourth party. Here again 
there were immediate causes upon which the observer 
could put his finger. On the whole the past ten years 
had been fairly free from strikes ; the forces of the trade 
unions had had time to take in the circumstances of their 
position, and to fix their eyes on far-reaching aims. Over- 
logical socialism had given place to a watchfulness for any 
promising opening for advancing Labour interests. The 
election of 1895 had turned the energies of Labour leaders 
into steady organising work. 2 The Taff Vale case came at 
exactly the right moment to fuse that work into a vital 
whole, to concentrate it upon a clear purpose. 3 Ever since 
that case the Labour leaders had had at their back an 
army answering to a purely Labour watchword. The 
combined workmen felt that, as long as the law held 
trade unions liable to be sued in damages for tortious 

1 Sec, e.g., The Times, i6th January 1906. 
a See vol. i., p. 372. 
* See p; 119. 


acts of members, and picketing and peaceful persuasion 
were held to be tortious acts, trade unions were paralysed. 
The central argument was that Parliament, when it sanc- 
tioned the trade unions, had never intended this ; it 
was a mere flaw in the position, discovered by the 
ingenuity of lawyers, and it must be mended. The defeat 
of Sir William Hart-Dyke in a division of Kent which was 
almost a family possession was the most striking example 
of the influence of the Taff Vale case. By the railway vote 
in this constituency he was ousted for a Labour member. 
But while the Taff Vale case served well enough as the 
obvious factor in the Labour party's success, it did not 
provide that deep meaning which both sides felt to be 
inherent in the election. Even when account had been 
taken of the lack of cohesion among Unionists on the Tariff 
Reform programme, the sum did not seem to be com- 
plete. The truth began, however, to emerge in a comment 
made before the election was over. " Speaking broadly, 
we should say that the result of the elections is a protest 
against dilettantism in politics, a vice common to both 
parties." * The phrasing was coloured by the now 
frequent misgivings as to Mr Balfour's leadership, the 
distrust of his " airiness " and elegant trifling. But that 
the comment itself was sound could be clearly proved by 
the new House when it met. It was largely a House of 
youngish men, still more a House of " new " men in politics. 
Just as the Reform Bill of 1832 had added the manufac- 
turer and the man of business to the aristocrat and the man 
of affairs, so the election of 1906 added to those classes 
in the House the man of ideas and the sociologist. For 
the first time the Commons contained a large number of 
men who had entered it, not on the strength of their heredi- 
tary position, their local importance, their forensic skill, 
or their intellectual reputation ; but solely on the basis of 
their sociological enthusiasm and their political idealism. 
1 The Times, 24th January 1906. 


Never had there been a House so full of men whom a 
member in the late eighteenth century would have found 
it impossible to place in any category known to him. 
The type was, of course, more common on the Liberal side 
than among the Unionists ; but even in the Opposition 
ranks could be found the man who had gone from his 
university, or even his school, into some activity of social 
reform, or some propaganda of the new political economy, 
and passed thence into Parliament. It is largely to that 
new political economy that we must look for the explana- 
tion of the general election of 1906. We have seen in 
the former volume of this history how the philanthropic 
spirit, by which the old individualist economy had been 
undermined, had given way, partly by the advance of 
Fabianism and Trade Unionism, partly by the philo- 
sophical thought associated with the name of T. H. Green, 
to a reformed political economy, a kind of economic 
sociology. 1 We have seen how this change was helped 
forward firstly by the inclusion of hygiene in the ideal of 
material progress ; and secondly by the movement for 
efficiency in public administration. 2 We now add the 
important fact that the reaction against the purely 
philanthropic spirit was a return to belief in the efficacy 
of legislation. 3 The ineffectual career of the Liberal 
Government of 1892-1895 inflicted a set-back upon that 
belief. But it had recovered strength ; it had become 
an enormous reservoir of power, waiting to be tapped. 
Mr Chamberlain had perceived its readiness, and had 
done it the honour of proposing to employ a new tap. 
The old served better. 

As the Liberals had had less apparent prevision of [the 
new forces, so now their acquaintance with them, grati- 
fying as it was for the moment, brought some apprehen- 

1 See vol. i., pp. in, 223 ; vol.ii.,p. 27. 
a See vol. i., p. 115; vol. ii., p. 1 36. 
' See vol. i., p. 246. 


sion to the thoughtful. This was perhaps best expressed 
in a letter from "A Liberal Voter," published in The 
Times, 1 suggesting that "the Labour vote had intro- 
duced into middle-class Liberalism, now perhaps for the 
last time triumphant, the seeds of disintegration." That 
was one more meaning discovered in the election results. 
But it was only a partial truth. Its flaw lay in the phrase 
" middle-class Liberalism " : in the sense in which the 
writer employed the phrase, that Liberalism was already 
past its last triumph the poor triumph of 1892. As 
the new Government pursued its course it became abund- 
antly clear that it represented a new Liberalism. Through- 
out the election the reliance of Liberals was placed, even 
if sometimes unconsciously, upon a wider basis than its old 
middle-class support. Symptoms of this reliance can be 
found in items of the programme put forward at the 
National Liberal Federation's meeting in 1905 such 
items as legislation on trade disputes, the taxation of site 
values, small holdings, the payment of members, and 
especially, perhaps, in the introduction for the first time of 
a resolution that " the disabilities of sex in the Parlia- 
mentary and local suffrage should be removed." The 
most deliberately democratic appeal of all did not appear 
in any programme, but it played a large part in the election. 
It was to be found at its clearest and best in Sir Charles 
Dilke's speeches. He frequently directed the working 
man's hopes towards a great Budget which should not only 
be aimed at bringing into the State coffers a larger propor- 
tion of the wealth of individuals, but should " entail 
legislation outside its own sphere" a Budget, that is, 
which should be a kind of nursing mother of social reforms. 
This was to be the real answer to Tariff Reform. A customs 
tariff was, after all, a middle-class idea, a middle-class 
conception for meeting the cost of social reform. The 
new Liberalism would find one that was not middle-class 
1 3 ist January 1906. 


in conception. As for unconscious regard paid by Liberals 
during the election to the new forces, it can be seen in 
the broad play upon instinctive dislike of the Chinese 
labour expedient, and instinctive mistrust of Tariff 
Reform. It can even be seen in the comparatively slight 
place taken in the election by Home Rule. Heated 
controversy on that subject had always been more 
characteristic of the middle-classes than of the working 
man, who was not deeply interested, either for it or 
against it. 

Apart from other considerations, there was no need for 
the Liberals to make much of Home Rule in this election. 
Before the polls began, Mr Redmond had taken up a posi- 
tion which prevented any possibility of co-operation with 
the Unionists ; he had repeated the full Nationalist 
demand, which would not be satisfied with " devolution," 
but only with an Irish Parliament, and an executive 
responsible to that parliament. The most that Unionist 
candidates could hope for was to make capital out of the 
difference between Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman's frank 
declaration of adherence to Home Rule and Sir Edward 
Grey's statement that progress in that direction must 
be gradual that no thorough-going Bill would be passed 
without an appeal to the country. The fact was that the 
events ending in the resignation of Mr George Wyndham 
had relieved the Liberal party of any need to bid for Irish 
support ; it had become again the party to which the 
Nationalists were compelled to look. Nor was it difficult 
for them to look hopefully towards a cabinet which, if it 
contained Sir Edward Grey and Mr Asquith, contained also 
Mr Morley, to maintain the Gladstonian tradition, and 
a strong contingent of democratic Radicalism. 

Home Rule occupied, in fact, a prominent place in the 
King's Speech at the opening of Parliament on 20th 
February, though the terms of the reference to it were 
vague, and without promise of immediate action. The 


two most important items of the speech concerned matters 
to which the Liberals had professed their paramount duty 
a new Education Bill and a Trade Disputes Bill. But 
far more interesting at the moment than either of these was 
that passage in the speech which dealt with South African 
affairs. It was stated definitely that no more licences 
would be issued for importing Chinese labourers ; and that, 
as soon as the details of the constitution could be worked 
out and drafted, self-government would be bestowed upon 
the Transvaal and the Orange River Colony. The Chinese 
labour decision was drastic. It was, and had been through- 
out the election, open to the Opposition to score the point 
that, if Chinese labour was indeed the slavery which 
Liberals alleged it to be, then they could not do less than 
repatriate the Chinese out of hand. If they did not do so, 
manifestly the cry of " slavery " was insincere. This was 
a neat " score," but the Government could afford to leave 
it as a score. An attempt had indeed been made to inter- 
fere at once with the indentured immigration. A few days 
before the Unionists surrendered office, licences had been 
issued for the importation of 14,000 Chinese. It was a 
much larger number than usual, and this suggested that 
the mine-owners, aware of, or suspecting, the imminence of 
a change of government, had hurried to secure a big draft, 
in case it should be the last. The Liberal Cabinet wished 
to prevent the landing of these 14,000 ; but found that, 
once the licences were issued, there was no way of inter- 
fering. For some time afterwards it continued to be a 
Unionist taunt that the " slaves " were still left, in spite 
of the hot Liberal indignation ; those already indentured 
were allowed to serve out their term. But the concession 
did no real harm to the Government, which showed at any 
rate some courage in flatly overriding the power of the 
Transvaal authorities to issue the licences ; Mr Lyttelton 
had been explaining carefully during the election that, 
once the Ordinance was allowed, the issue of licences was 


not in his hands. Moreover the Cabinet maintained its 
attitude when self-government was granted to the colony ; 
the letters patent, reciting specifically " Whereas it is 
Our will and pleasure that all persons within Our dominions 
shall be free from any conditions of employment or resid- 
ence of a servile character," placed questions of imported 
labour among the subjects of legislation which the Governor 
had not power to assent to, but must reserve for the Home 
Government's decision. 

The session was not an easy one. The Trade Disputes 
Bill, as introduced by the Government, did not wholly 
satisfy the Labour party, and a Bill was also introduced 
by Mr Hudson, one of the Labour members. In the end 
an important clause from this latter Bill was incorporated 
in the Government measure, which in its final form 
virtually abolished the last application of the law of con- 
spiracy to trade unions, and enacted that what was legal 
for an individual should be legal for a combination of 
individuals, thus permitting peaceful persuasion, picketing, 
and other such methods during a strike ; it also enacted 
that the funds of trade unions should not be liable to 
actions for damages. Much more serious difficulty attended 
the Education Bill. This was largely due to the Govern- 
ment's attempt to make, not a mere reversal of the Act of 
1902, as was alleged to be their object, but a measure 
which would leave no section of the community as seriously 
aggrieved as the Nonconformists had been by that Act. 
The chief proposal of the new Bill was that, in order to 
make all public elementary schools " provided " schools, 
the local authorities should arrange with the managers 
of voluntary schools for the use of the buildings on five 
days of the week, leaving them to the managers on Saturday 
and Sunday, the local authorities in return becoming 
responsible for the upkeep and repair of the school build- 
ings. The local authority was to have the sole power of 
appointing teachers ; no religious tests were to be applied 


in the appointments, and teachers under the local author- 
ity were not to be allowed to give instruction on Saturday 
and Sunday. This fully met the Nonconformist position. 
But it was also proposed that in towns, facilities for deno- 
minational teaching should be given in schools taken over 
by the local authority, if four-fifths of the parents of chil- 
dren attending the school expressed a wish for it, and if, 
further, there were schools available for children whose 
parents preferred the undenominational teaching. The 
Bill never had a united force of opinion behind it. Non- 
conformists disliked the concession of denominational 
teaching in any schools at all. The Labour members 
disliked the perpetuation of undenominational teaching 
as much as they disliked this particular concession ; they 
wished for a wholly secular system. The Irish members, 
while admitting that the concession would meet for the 
most part the Roman Catholic demand (since the strength 
of Roman Catholicism was chiefly in towns), disliked the 
stipulation for a four-fifths vote from the parents. English 
Churchmen joined in this dislike. But the question of the 
proportion of parents that should settle the matter was 
but a small, though persistent, part of the Opposition's 
antagonism to the Bill. The confining of denominational 
teaching in voluntary schools to two days of the week ; 
the power of the local authority to appoint all teachers ; 
the absolute forbidding of the teachers to give instruction 
on Saturday and Sunday these proposals were enough 
to destroy the Government's hope of allaying the Noncon- 
formist grievance without aggrieving others. Churchmen 
denounced the Bill at large for endowing undenomination- 
alism, while refusing to support denominationalism that 
is, for deciding arbitrarily that one form of religious 
teaching was good and another bad. The Bill had some 
uncomfortable moments even in the House of Commons ; 
on one amendment in July, when the Ministerial whips 
were taken off, and [the question left to the unfettered 


judgment of the House, the Government majority was 
only sixteen. When the Bill reached the House of Lords 
in October, that assembly made no pretence of accepting 
it. Drastic amendments were introduced into practically 
every clause. The action taken by the Government, when 
the amended Bill was returned to the House of Commons, 
was extremely important. It proposed that the amendments 
introduced by the Lords should be considered, not in detail, 
but " as a whole," the House agreed to this course, and 
proceeded to reject the amendments " as a whole " by 
a majority of 416 to 107. This meant that the work of 
the Lords was regarded, not as a fair attempt to meet 
Nonconformist grievances from the Church point of view, 
but as a determination to maintain the position under 
Mr Balfour's Act. In other words, the Lords were treated 
as holding the fort on behalf of the enfeebled Opposition 
against the Liberal majority, in a particularly flagrant 
manner, since the Liberals had everywhere announced to 
their supporters that an Education Bill would be their first 
care. On the second appearance of the Bill in the House 
of Lords, Lord Lansdowne expressed strong objection 
to the course taken by the Government, and the House 
insisted on its amendments. Thereupon the Govern- 
ment announced on 20th December that it would proceed 
no further with the Bill. 

Thus opened another fundamental contest raised by the 
astonishing general election. Could this new House of 
Commons new in so many traits of outlook, of reliance 
upon the electorate, of political philosophy coexist with 
a Second Chamber unaffected by the vote of constituencies? 
The answer of Conservatives was, broadly, that with our 
electoral system it was possible for the House of Commons 
to be a complete misrepresentation of the state of feeling 
in the country. A bare majority sufficed to put a member 
into the House ; and it was therefore not unfair that some 
automatic check in the constitution should represent the 


many Tory votes which had just failed to keep Liberals 
out. The weakness of this answer was that the Lords had 
hitherto never represented the many similar Liberal 
minorities when Unionists were in office. They had not, 
for instance, on this very matter of education, paid heed 
to Nonconformist dislike of the Act of 1902, as they now 
paid heed to Church dislike of the Bill of 1906. Extreme 
democratic opinion also chafed at the conception of an 
automatic check. It is quite possible that in their dealings 
with the Education Bill the Lords intended no more than 
a strong reminder to the Government that it must regard 
its majority rather as a great asset for bargaining purposes 
than as a supreme authority. The rejection of their 
amendments as a whole, with the consequent repudiation 
of any suggestion of bargaining, practically set for trial 
the question whether the 1906 election revealed a passing 
wave of feeling, or a genuine fresh start in the country's 
political development whether it was only an extreme 
case of the old " in and out " politics, or an indication of 
entirely new ideas of control in national affairs. The safe 
passage of the Trade Disputes Bill through the House 
of Lords added force to the discussion. Here was a Bill 
denounced by a considerable portion of the community 
as a very grave innovation, setting certain people above 
the law by Act of Parliament ; yet the guardians of an 
established order had passed it. The argument used on 
behalf of the Lords was that this measure had been so 
specifically before the country at the election that the 
electors had only themselves to blame for returning a large 
majority pledged to the innovation. The Plural Voting 
Bill, designed to abolish the casting of votes by owners 
of property in more than one constituency, was thrown out 
by the Lords, on the ground that reform of the franchise 
should not be undertaken piecemeal. The net result by 
the end of the year, in the Liberal belief, was that the 
House of Lords intended to pursue a policy of rejecting 


all the measures it dared to, or so amending them as to 
destroy their purpose, while passing a few popular or 
ultra-democratic measures as a set-off. 

Heavily though the Tariff Reform party had suffered 
at the polls, it was far from abandoning its propaganda. 
Mr Chamberlain had held his city impregnable ; Birming- 
ham returned a solid block of Unionists. His general 
popularity was not what it had been ; in some of his 
campaigning speeches outside his own region notably 
at a meeting in Derby he had been subjected to constant 
interruption, and had had to curtail his speech. Moreover, 
when a Unionist party meeting was held at Lansdowne 
House in February, to profess loyalty to Mr Balfour, who 
had returned to the House of Commons, as member for the 
City of London, the official programme on Tariff Reform 
had become rather colourless. The meeting only pledged 
itself " by some means or other to procure the lowering 
of hostile tariffs, and by conference with the Colonies to 
reach some arrangement for attaining closer commercial 
union with the Colonies." It was added that " the methods 
are left open, until the principle is accepted, and the party 
are asked to abstain from discussing them until that time 
comes." However much one party might wish to abstain, 
the other party was not likely to ; nor were the carefully 
non-committal terms of the pledge secure from attack. 
Free Traders argued stoutly that " some means or other " 
must in the end imply a preferential or protectionist tariff ; 
and Unionist Free Traders were not placated. They came 
to the conclusion, after the publication of correspondence 
between Mr Balfour and Mr Chamberlain, that the two 
were in substantial agreement, and therefore the formal 
programme, however worded, must involve the Tariff 
Reform proposals. One of the first activities of the Liberal 
Government was to pay attention to the official production 
of statistics. New distinctions and subdivisions were 
made in the Board of Trade Returns. Investigations were 


set on foot into the relations between wages, hours of work, 
and cost of living in the United Kingdom and other 
countries. Most important of all, Mr Lloyd George 
proposed to hold a census of production at stated intervals ; 
and, as it seemed that manufacturers might reasonably 
be chary of their business secrets, a Bill was introduced to 
make the census compulsory, and to secure that business 
returns should be as confidential as income-tax returns. 
The Bill was welcomed by both sides. Liberals were fully 
alive to the energy that still directed the Tariff Reform 
propaganda. They did their best to meet the new and 
exacting requirements of economic discussion by trying 
to arrive at the real condition of wages, the real meaning 
of imports and exports, the real balance of British trade. 
For the ordinary person the year only showed one exciting 
passage in the Tariff Reform controversy. It became 
known that, in spite of recent denials, The Times was 
likely to undergo a change of proprietorship, and rumour 
attributed to Mr C. A. Pearson, who had taken The 
Standard and made it a thorough-going Protectionist organ, 
a scheme for now acquiring The Times, and putting it to 
the same service. However, when in December the High 
Court, in an action brought by some of the proprietors 
of The Times, sanctioned the conversion of the proprietor- 
ship into a limited liability company, with Mr Walter as 
governing director, it was known that the new force was 
to be, not Mr Pearson, nor a syndicate of Free Traders 
who had also made a bid, but Lord Northcliffe, the chief 
proprietor of The Daily Mail. 1 This was, on the whole, 
a relief ; for although The Daily Mail had, after a slight 
hesitation, embraced Mr Chamberlain's proposals, it had 
never shown the " whole hogger " Protectionist bias of Mr 
Pearson's newspapers. There were, it is true, some other 
serious considerations. One more step (and a great one, 

1 Sir Alfred Harmsworth's peerage had been one of the honours 
granted on the resignation of the late Ministry. 


in view of the unrivalled position of The Times) had been 
taken in that concentration of newspapers in comparatively 
few hands which had been proceeding quietly for some time. 
Both Lord Northcliffe and Mr Pearson controlled or owned 
outright provincial newspapers in all parts of the country, 
as well as their London newspapers. The result complained 
of was that, when any great subject arose in politics, the 
country had, not a discussion from a number of points 
of view, largely local and individual, but a parrot-like 
repetition of dictated opinion. There was, however, less 
ground for the complaint than the political opponents of 
those two newspaper-owners imagined. For one thing, 
provincial newspapers, with the exception of the few great 
ones which remained independent, The Manchester Guar- 
dian, The Yorkshire Post, The Scotsman, The Glasgow 
Herald, and so on, had little or no individual opinion to 
express on great political subjects ; the mass of them 
followed the London papers so closely that the simultane- 
ous dictation of opinion to them made little difference. 
For another thing, the idea of newspapers as guides of 
public opinion had in reality long ceased to be true to 
facts ; they were symbols rather than guides, and men read 
them to find grounds for their established convictions, or 
even prejudices, not to find means of arriving at convictions. 
When Lord Northcliffe entered the field of cheap news- 
papers he frankly aimed at selling " a good thing," not at 
supporting causes, which only took their place as part 
of " a good thing " or otherwise. The one real danger 
nowadays was the possibility that the dictation of a single 
opinion to a large number of newspapers in different parts 
of the country might produce a false impression of the 
bent of the public mind might, for instance, produce the 
same sort of effect as that by which The Pall Mall Gazette 
in 1884 had made itself largely instrumental in the sending 
of Gordon to Khartoum. 1 But, in point of fact, the con- 
1 See vol. i., p. 124. 


centration of newspapers in the hands of certain individuals 
diminished, rather than increased, the danger of such 
misapprehension. The process had been now too well 
observed to leave any uncertainty as to what might be 
behind those periodical choruses. 

Nevertheless, anxiety about the effects of this process 
was largely responsible for the foundation of a new Liberal 
newspaper, The Tribune, which appeared on the morrow 
of the general election. It restored Liberalism for a 
time to a place among the penny newspapers of London, 1 
and it began its career with a brilliant staff. It survived 
only for two years. Its fall was treated by many people 
as a deplorable proof of the lowering standard of the 
modern newspaper reader ; he had, they said, become 
accustomed to so little seriousness of purpose in his news- 
papers that a reasoned presentation of Liberalism failed 
entirely to impress him. The professional journalist 
was rather inclined to attribute the fall to other reasons. 
An even briefer career was the lot of another newspaper 
founded in this year, with the title of The Majority ; it was 
published at a halfpenny, and proposed to be " the organ 
of all who work for wage or salary." Unfortunately, such 
people were less a public than a number of publics, each of 
which responded to a more precise appeal from existing 
newspapers, and The Majority only lived for a week or two. 

The one thing which could compete for public attention 
at the beginning of the year with the Liberal triumph 
was the launching of the Dreadnought in February. There 
had already been some stimulation of interest, because of 
the secrecy attending the construction of the ship, and 
still more because of the amazing fact that she had been 
laid down in October with the intention of launching her 
in February and completing her for sea within eighteen 
months a feat unprecedented in naval construction. 
Now that she was launched, it was obvious that she repre- 

1 See p. 88.- 


sented a startlingly new theory of design, the result of 
the deliberations of a special committee, whose report had 
been kept secret. Two main characteristics of the Dread- 
nought marked her off at once from all other battleships. 
Her immense sides were unbroken by any casemates 
any of the recessed or projecting semicircles that had 
hitherto diversified the outlines of warships ; hers were 
as clean and simple as the sides of an ocean liner. Secondly 
she was designed to carry only one type of gun, and that 
a large one ten 12-inch guns mounted in barbettes ; 
the absence of secondary armament freed her from any 
necessity for openings in her watertight compartments. 
Moreover the clearness of her lines would help to give 
her speed. She was to steam twenty-one knots, against 
the eighteen and a half which had hitherto been the 
swiftest pace of a battleship. She marked at the same 
time an advance in size, displacing 17,900 tons against 
the 16,500 of the King Edward the Seventh. It 
was well known that consideration of the naval 
engagements in the Russo-Japanese War the first 
time that modern warships had been in action had 
largely dictated the new design. Tsu-Shima had been 
a " heavy-gun " battle ; and the purpose in view was to 
create a battleship capable of inflicting the maximum 
injury at the maximum distance, while herself offering 
the least holding ground for the enemy's shells. It was 
remarked, with gratification, that a line of ten Dreadnoughts 
would be equal in fighting power to twenty Dominions 
or twenty Agamemnons (the two latest previous types), 
and at the same time would be much easier for an admiral 
to handle. A suitable footnote to the launching of this 
great ship was provided later in the year by the wonder- 
fully ^efficient gunnery scores made by the various fleets 
at gun practice ; the percentage of hits to shots had ap- 
proached eighty ; and the presence of Captain Percy Scott 
at the Admiralty was a guarantee of continued efficiency. 


The navy made a less happy appearance in November, 
when a mutiny occurred at the naval barracks at Devon- 
port among the stokers. Their version of the affair was 
that an officer, in drilling them, had hectored them in an 
abusive way, and one phrase he was said to have used, 
" On the knee, you dogs," had a brief notoriety. The 
officer was court-martialled, and acquitted of the charge 
of using abusive language ; but he suffered a reprimand 
for having behaved in such a way as to lead to the rioting. 
The ringleader of the stokers was sentenced to five years' 
penal servitude. 

It was natural that a good deal of interest should 'attach 
itself to the first Labour member of an English Cabinet ; 
and there was much speculation as to how Mr John Burns 
would bear himself. Some of it was mere gossiping 
speculation : would he retain his democratic bowler 
hat, and would he expect to go to Court in a " reefer " 
suit ? He sensibly settled all such talk by adopting 
Court dress for the occasions when it was necessary, and 
remaining faithful to the bowler hat on all other occasions. 
As for more serious speculations about him, he did not 
leave the country long in doubt that the Local Govern- 
ment Board was to be a watchful and vigorous department, 
and not one masking administrative slackness by showy 
legislative schemes. He frankly postponed Poor Law 
reforms, with which the air was thick, to tightening up 
local administration. A ruthless hand was needed. In 
this year two of the London boards of guardians were 
attacked for corruption and maladministration, the Poplar 
Board in July, and the West Ham Board in November ; 
and various guardians and officials were brought to trial, 
chiefly for corrupt practices in connection with the boards' 
contracts. Mr Burns was indefatigable in personally 
visiting all sorts of institutions within the Local Govern- 
ment Board's sphere. 

The bringing to light of corruption among London 


guardians was turned to use by the Moderates of the London 
County Council in their preparation for the election in the 
coming spring. This party now called itself the Municipal 
Reform Party, having found that its old name of " Moder- 
ates " conveyed little to the voter, except that the party had 
the same ideals as the Progressives, but in a less advanced 
degree. That was in some measure true of the Moderates 
in the first Council. Since that day of high hopes, the 
Progressives had moved far and fast ; under the attack 
upon municipal trading they had come to stand for an 
extreme type of socialism in local government. "Muni- 
cipal Reform " meant a determination to arrest this kind 
of socialism ; and the criticism of municipal trading had 
grown strong enough to give the newly named party hopes 
of a victory next year, and the first expulsion of the 
Progressives from the helm of London government. 
Meanwhile, the latter succeeded, after several attempts, 
in securing parliamentary powers to run trams along 
the Embankment, and the new service was opened in 
December, on the same day as the latest " tube " railway, 
the Great Northern, Piccadilly and Brompton. London 
traffic problems were changing with extraordinary 
rapidity ; already motor omnibuses were on the main 
routes, and these and the tubes had solved some of 
the old difficulties, even if they created new ones. 

Business was in a condition to encourage a Free Trade 
Government to invite the most searching examination 
of trade statistics. A steady recovery from the lowering 
effects of the war was providing hopeful figures ; the Stock 
Exchange was cheerful, in spite of the advent of Liberals 
to power, and the City looked forward to the Budget 
serenely. When it came, the revenue was a million and 
a half above the estimate ; and Mr Asquith was able to add 
half-a-million to the provision for meeting National Debt 
charges, besides restoring the full operation of the Sinking 
Fund. That he took this line, rather than the line of large 


remissions of taxation (the coal-duty was removed, and a 
penny was taken off the tea-tax), showed intentions sound 
enough to please the financiers. The most anxious period 
of the year for the business world was in October, when 
the failure of the Knickerbocker Trust Company in New 
York brought about a run on the banks there. A panic 
followed in Wall Street ; one bank after another suspended 
payment, and for a few days the whole credit system of 
the United States was in danger. In London, besides 
the inevitable disturbance of the stock markets by the 
failures and the uncertainty, there was the " pinching " 
effect of the heavy call for gold from the United States. 
The treasury of that country ordered an immediate coinage 
of three millions sterling in gold, but fifteen millions had 
also to be drawn from London. The Bank Rate rose at 
once, and went as high as 7 per cent. ; at that figure 
the influx of gold was sufficient to meet the strain, and, 
though the depressing effects of the panic lasted for some 
time, the English markets came very well out of the 
trouble. The most interesting operation in England at 
the moment was an amalgamation of some of the largest 
soap manufacturing companies. It attained more than a 
stock market notoriety, because it was violently attacked 
by certain newspapers as the beginning of a monopolist 
trust which would capture the retail trade, and prevent 
honest competition in either price or quality of soap. 
These newspapers worked up their indignation on behalf 
of the poor washerwoman, and other such members of the 
community not often within the purview of the editors 
concerned. When the indignation reached the point of 
accusing Messrs Lever Brothers of selling short weight, 
the latter entered a libel action, which ended in the 
following year in an agreed verdict of 50,000 damages 
and costs. Another important trade matter of the 
year was the meeting in England of the International 
Federation of Master Cotton Spinners' and Manufacturers' 


Associations. It marked the foundation of a system of 
collecting and publishing cotton trade statistics from all 
over the world, which added one more improvement to 
the already high organisation of the trade. The establish- 
ment of the new system was largely due to the energy and 
patience of Mr Charles Macara. 

The new Government naturally had to receive a great 
many deputations from people anxious to enlarge or to 
accelerate, or sometimes to retard, its programme of 
legislation. Liberal and Labour members were urgent 
for the production of a scheme of Old Age Pensions ; 
women suffragists for extension of the franchise to women ; 
licensed victuallers for some information as to the Ministry's 
intentions on the licensing question. An important 
deputation waited on Sir Edward Grey from the Congo 
Reform Association. The sitting of the commission in 
Brussels had resulted in a scheme of reform which was 
regarded as wholly inadequate ; the King of the Belgians 
was apparently impenitent to the last degree in the matter 
of the Crown Domain of the Congo, as to which he refused 
to acknowledge any right of interference by the Powers, 
although it was said to be " the worst of the Chartered 
Company excrescences " on the original purpose of the 
Powers. Mr Morel, indefatigable as ever, was roundly 
attacking one of these companies, the Kasai Company ; 
and the appalling evidence he produced, and upheld 
undauntedly against the most persistent vilification of his 
objects and his methods, was at last beginning to receive 
serious attention in England. 

The Woman Suffrage deputation to the Prime Minister, 
which took place in May, gave small indication of the 
extraordinary complexity which this question was shortly 
to assume. The Prime Minister in his reply, while assuring 
the deputation of his personal sympathy with their cause, 
declined to promise a Bill, remarking that no party was 
as yet united on the question. This, no doubt, was true ; 


and it was also true that, as compared with other business 
on the Government's crowded and overcrowded 
programme, woman suffrage could not be said as yet to 
have much interested the country and the electors at large. 
The Woman Suffrage Bills that had appeared fairly regu- 
larly in the House of Commons had provided light-hearted 
debates on private members' days ; and although the 
subject had come up in the official programme at the elec- 
tion, and as many as 420 members of the new House were 
said to have professed allegiance to the ideal, no one ex- 
pected it to become a burning subject immediately. That 
it did so was due to an organisation called the Women's 
Social and Political Union, hitherto a comparatively 
small body of women suffragists recruited chiefly from 
the manufacturing towns of Lancashire and Yorkshire. 
Dissatisfied with the small progress made by the older 
Woman Suffrage societies, with their appeal chiefly to the 
highly educated from highly educated women, the new 
body based itself rather on the working woman's necessity 
for a vote, to improve her industrial position and her 
domestic rights. The union had been active in Man- 
chester during the election, and it now entered upon a 
sensational career in London. It organised a procession 
of women and a demonstration in Trafalgar Square, in 
connection with the deputation to the Prime Minister ; 
it made itself conspicuous in the Ladies' Gallery at the 
House of Commons during a debate on a Woman Suffrage 
resolution brought forward by Mr Keir Hardie ; and some 
of its leading members paid organised calls on ministers. 
Finally, in October, the union began the policy of send- 
ing large bodies of women to the central lobby of the 
Houses of Parliament to interview ministers ; in October, 
November and December several women were arrested 
for riotous behaviour, and, refusing to pay fines, were 
sent to prison. 
The general public took as yet but a casual interest in 


these proceedings. Recovering from its absorption in 
the sporting excitements of the election, it went its ways. 
Skating on artificial ice at Prince's Club was the new 
amusement of the rich, who now diversified their habits of 
speech by tacking a meaningless " What ? " on to the 
end of remarks which called for no answer. Less exalted 
people were provided with a new craze in the watching of 
wrestling bouts, with immense champions struggling on 
exiguous mats ; and the emancipation of the middle classes 
began to display itself in a revolt against the wearing of 
top hats in city businesses, and against the wearing of any 
hats in hours of holiday or relaxation. Indeed, in every 
direction men were affronting traditions of dress. The 
frock coat had ceased to be the smartest thing to wear ; 
the well-dressed young man affected elegant forms of 
what the tailors call a " morning coat." The curious point 
for the social observer was that this new fashion was 
actually a revolt against Court etiquette. King Edward 
held to it that the frock coat was the garment for formal 
occasions ; the exquisites of White's and the Bachelors' 
" regretted " that they could no longer recognise Court 
dignitaries in the street, since the latter had to continue 
wearing frock coats. Nay, more ; it was no longer im- 
possible to be seen in Pall Mall or St James's Street of 
an afternoon in a jacket and bowler hat, or straw hat. 
Partly this subversive change could be traced to a good 
cause. The young men of the Guards and other smart 
regiments were said nowadays to be so keen on their 
profession that they were constantly at Aldershot or 
Pirbright, and, running up thence to town, naturally 
came West in " out of town " clothes. The more general 
cause, however, was a happy inclination to reconsider 
most traditional habits, and, if any were found exacting, 
to drop them. 

In December the Transvaal received its Constitution, 
and entered upon self-government and the full status of 


a responsible colony. There had been no little anxiety 
in some quarters with regard to this step, which was looked 
upon as a piece of Liberal quixotism. Only four years 
had passed since the two races in the Transvaal had been 
at war ; was it possible that already the country could 
safely be left to their joint direction ? As far at least 
as immediately appeared, the bold experiment was not ill- 
advised ; the mining market showed, not only absence 
of uneasiness, but a slight improvement. 

In the last days of the year Lady Burdett-Coutts died. 
She had controlled an immense fortune with dignity and 
thoughtfulness ; and her burial in the Abbey was a testi- 
mony, not merely to her generous philanthropy, but to the 
honourable simplicity with which she had maintained 
a difficult position. Miss Dorothea Beale, who died in 
November, had also done much to exalt her sex. Founder 
and headmistress of the Cheltenham Ladies' College, it 
was her special achievement to have broken down the 
convention of the private governess in the education of 
upper-class girls, and, by so doing, to have opened wide 
realms of knowledge to a class that before this time had 
been inefficiently taught. 



THE year 1907 was marked by a certain, and rather 
strange, lull in politics. A new Government pledged 
up to the eyes to legislative activities had hardly 
been expected to make its second year of office a quiet one. 
Various influences were at work. The Prime Minister was 
not in good health. His wife, to whom he was devoted, 
had been stricken with a long illness in the previous year, 
and he had constantly gone from a night's work at the 
House of Commons to her sick-bed. This strain, ending in 
the grief of her death, had gravely affected his strength. 
Again, ministers were nearly all over-pressed in their 
departments. The work of Government offices was said 
to have fallen grievously into arrear during the declining 
years of the late Government. It happened also that the 
principal measure of the session was Mr Haldane's Army 
Bill, and this excited only a very small section of the 
public outside the service and the Houses of Parliament. 
Roving attention on the look-out for interests was caught 
before the year was many days old. A most destructive 
earthquake in Jamaica, whereby the town of Kingston was 
practically thrown into ruins, happened to strike home to 
the Englishman. Sir Alfred Jones, the head of the steam- 
ship line trading to Jamaica, had just conveyed thither in 
one of his ships a distinguished party of persons whose 
interest he wished to enlist. Consequently there were a 
good many anxious families in England when news of 
the earthquake arrived. One of the travellers, Sir James 
Fergusson, a former member of Parliament for Manchester, 



and at one time an under-secretary in a Unionist Govern- 
ment, had been killed. An incident of the succeed- 
ing days of relief work was curious. Some ships of the 
United States navy were ordered to Kingston to render 
assistance. Friction arose from a difference of ideas as 
to how the work should be effected, and from what the 
English people felt to be a too great inclination on the part 
of the Americans to show off their efficiency, and to accuse 
the Englishmen of having none. England had, as we have 
seen, wearied of the doctrine of efficiency in the persons 
of her own colonists ; in the case of Americans she roundly 
dubbed it fussiness, and the American ships were with- 
drawn in some dudgeon. 

Hardly had the excitement of these events passed off, 
when a murder case with some unusual elements provided 
matter for discussion. Mr Whiteley, the head of the great 
stores that bore his name, and the first man to introduce 
English people to such stores, was shot dead in his office 
by a young man who claimed to be his natural son. This 
allegation, while it was of less account in England than 
it might have been in France, where extenuating causes 
were more easily made to include moral questions, never- 
theless was widely debated by the public. The young 
man was sentenced to death, but the sentence was 
commuted to one of penal servitude for life. 

He had the distinction of facing the first murder trial 
in the new Central Criminal Court which the King opened 
on 27th February. Newgate Prison had disappeared. 
Its grim yards and corridors and cells peculiarly grim 
because for many years the prison had been only a place of 
execution had been opened to trampling crowds at the 
heels of an auctioneer ; and doors and window bars and 
gates had been bought as curiosities by showmen. On 
the old site had arisen a very different building ; the 
heavy grey walls, which could never have been mistaken 
for anything but a gaol, had given place to fa9ades that 


might appertain to any sort of public service. Inside the 
building, court-rooms cheerful with green leather and light 
unpolished oak panelling and frescoed staircases now 
replaced the dusty Old Bailey courts, in which the huge 
size of the dock had been eloquent of days when batches 
of men were hanged for petty felonies, and where the reek 
of a poisonous past seemed to exude from the walls. 

Early in the year it became evident that the leaders 
of the new agitation for woman suffrage had discovered 
how to attract the notice of crowds. On the evening of the 
day after the session opened, and again a month later, 
when a Woman Suffrage Bill introduced by Mr W. H. 
Dickinson had been talked out, the Women's Social and 
Political Union organised large processions to the House 
of Commons. These were developments from the smaller 
affairs of the previous year, the object now being to force 
the police to arrest women in considerable numbers, with 
the view of producing an embarrassment for the authori- 
ties. Sixty-five women were arrested on the first occasion, 
and seventy-six on the second ; and all of them refused to 
pay fines, and had to be committed to prison. The crowds 
that watched the scenes in Parliament Square were for the 
most part of a rough or careless type, only there as specta- 
tors of struggles of women and policemen. But certainly 
one result of the notoriety attained by these methods was 
that suffragist speakers at meetings up and down the 
country were able to gather audiences which even a year 
before they could never have mustered. The Women's 
Social and Political Union prided itself on bringing as much 
new life into the propagandist side of the work as it had 
brought into the direct demand upon the Government. 
None the less, the union was associated in the minds of 
ordinary persons less with meetings than with public 
agitation. The older bodies of suffragists, not at all con- 
vinced that their object was really furthered by notoriety, 
were inclined to distinguish themselves from the new body ; 


and the attachment of a popular label, " The Suffragettes," 
to the latter helped the distinction. What chiefly marked 
the suffragettes' position was persistence in countering or 
over-riding all the stock political objections to the urgency 
of their case. They maintained unflinchingly the attitude 
that woman suffrage was not a question which ought to be 
subject to the normal course of political questions ; it 
ought not to depend on the state of opinion in the Cabinet, 
on the state of business in the House, or on the pledges of 
members to their constituents. They presented it simply 
as a demand ; and treated lack of response to the demand 
as hostility to it. The subject had not been mentioned in 
the King's Speech. No one imagined it would be, but the 
suffragettes took the fact as a form of refusal. Mr Dickin- 
son's Bill did not satisfy all in the House who supported 
woman suffrage, and in any case a private member's Bill 
could not, by any normal political canons, bring about a 
change so vast. Yet the talking out of the Bill was again 
treated as a refusal. The suffragettes decided to work 
in the constituencies against every Liberal candidate, 
whether he were personally a suffragist or not, so long as the 
Liberal Government did not produce a Woman Suffrage 
Bill. They had clever and energetic speakers, who entered 
with zest into street-corner meetings, faithful to the 
union's original reliance upon the working woman, and 
they added immensely to the vigour and interest of by- 
election campaigns. During the year it became plain 
that an extraordinarily baffling situation could be brought 
about by the uncompromising position the suffragettes 
had adopted. 

A vacancy occurred during the spring in the representa- 
tion of Wimbledon. Mr Chaplin became the Unionist 
candidate, and the Liberal candidate, Mr Bertrand 
Russell, put Woman Suffrage in the forefront of his pro- 
gramme. This may in itself have been the step forward 
which suffragists considered it to be ; but the result 


showed that as an appeal to the electorate it was not 
very effective. Mr Russell was beaten by nearly 7000. 
Mr Chaplin was an avowed anti-suffragist. Parliament 
passed in this year the Bill qualifying women to serve 
on county and borough councils. Many people had been 
disappointed when the test case brought after the first 
London County Council election in 1889 exposed the 
fact that women could not legally be elected ; and the 
Bill now establishing their right to sit was generally 

At the beginning of the session there was not much sign 
of the comparative lack of legislative work which has 
been mentioned. The King's Speech referred to the dif- 
ferences which had arisen between the two Houses, but 
did no more than record the fact. The programme laid 
before Parliament included Licensing Reform, an Army 
Bill, and a Criminal Appeal Bill, besides the Women's 
Bill just mentioned. To this list were added a Bill to 
set up councils in Ireland with some power of legislation 
an attempt at a new form of Home Rule, based largely 
on the " devolution " ideas, and owing, in fact, much to 
Sir Antony Macdonnell ; an Education Bill, being a 
fresh effort to settle the vexed question by agreement ; 
a Land Valuation Bill ; and certain Small Holdings Bills. 
But the licensing question was postponed. The terms 
of educational settlement proposed by Mr McKenna, who 
had succeeded Mr Birrell at the Board of Education, did 
not commend themselves to the Archbishop of Canterbury, 
and the Government dropped that Bill. The Irish Councils 
Bill was also dropped. It was in charge of Mr Birrell, 
who, on the appointment in the previous December of 
Mr Bryce to be ambassador in Washington, had left the 
Education Office, in some disappointment at the loss of 
the Bill which had cost him so much labour, and had 
undertaken the Irish Chief Secretaryship. He was not 
now more fortunate, except that he wasted less labour. 


The new proposal for Ireland was far removed from 
Home Rule. It made no difference to Irish representation 
at Westminster ; it stipulated what the new bodies 
should be competent to deal with, instead of merely 
what they should not ; it set up no new Irish executive. 
It was, in fact, a measure which might almost have been 
within the contemplation of Mr Wyndham two years 
previously. At the same time, it was the nearest to 
Home Rule that the present Cabinet and Parliament 
could venture after the statements at the election of Sir 
Edward Grey and Mr Asquith. At first the measure 
seemed to be a success ; it was not refused point-blank 
by the Irish Nationalists. But a convention in Dublin 
in the spring settled its fate ; the party returned to the 
full Home Rule demand, and the Bill was dropped. 

The Army Bill was chiefly remarkable to the general 
public for its reorganisation of the auxiliary forces. 
It proposed to throw the militia, the yeomanry, and the 
volunteers into a single arm, to be called the Territorial 
Force. This was to take a definite place in national 
defence, with more effective training and a closer relation 
to the regular army. Recruiting was to be assisted, and 
the drain of camps and equipment on the private purses 
of officers and men to be lightened, by placing the 
Territorial Forces under county associations, presided 
over by the lords lieutenant, who were thus restored to 
a long-lost position of military authority. Strong ob- 
jections were raised to the inclusion of the militia in the 
new force ; and in the end Mr Haldane gave way on that 
proposal. The assigning to the volunteers of a definite 
place in our lines of defence, the assurance thereby given 
of more generous consideration of their needs and more 
serious attention to their training on the part of the War 
Office, gave real encouragement to the men. Those who 
had ceased to believe in the efficacy of voluntary service, 
and were agitating for compulsory service, were not 


converted ; they laughed to scorn Mr Haldane's con- 
tention that, with the new training, the Territorial Force 
could at any time, with six months' hard continuous work, 
fit itself to take the place of the regular army, in the event 
of a war drawing off the whole of the latter. Critics 
remarked that in such a war we could hardly arrange for 
a peaceful six months to practise our territorials. It was 
also said that the force could never be worked up to the 
establishment projected for it. But the immediate effect 
was undoubtedly to give the volunteers fresh vitality, 
and in spite of the grumbles the new scheme started well. 
Later in the year the King summoned the lords lieutenant 
to Buckingham Palace, and commended the scheme to 
their patriotic energies. 

On the whole the year's work was not very Radical ; 
and indeed the Opposition began to pluck up heart. Mr 
Balfour was leading them again with some spirit. He 
had been curiously ineffective in the first session of the 
new Parliament ; and nothing could have shown more 
clearly the truth of the belief that the Parliament stood for 
a great change. His skill in debate was for a time com- 
pletely lost upon a House that regarded his airiness and 
his light-handed dexterity with an amazed impatience. 
It had slowly learned the power that lay behind the 
lightness ; and although Liberals felt, with a growing 
resentment, that the true opposition to their purposes 
was not in the House of Commons at all, they came to 
regard Mr Balf our's leadership as a reality. The apparent 
failure of the Government to keep up the pace of its 
programme, the postponing or dropping of various 
measures, gave the Opposition some opening; and they 
took full advantage of it. The most Radical work of the 
session was to be found in the Budget, when Mr Asquith 
introduced into the system of taxation a distinction 
between earned and unearned incomes, and laid a super- 
tax, in addition to increased death-duties, on estates of 


over a million pounds. On earned incomes the income- 
tax was reduced to ninepence, while on unearned incomes 
it remained at a shilling. In conjunction with the con- 
cession, income-tax surveyors were empowered to examine 
the salary-books of firms, a check upon evasions of the 
tax which were believed to be becoming serious and 
habitual. Out of his surplus, Mr Asquith allotted a 
million and a half to reducing the National Debt. By 
his energetic restoration of the sinking fund, and by 
allocations of his surpluses, he had in these two years 
taken some twenty-six millions off the debt. 

Lapse of time since the general election inevitably 
tended to weaken the impression of that event as a 
national awakening. There was a disinclination on the 
part of the public to face in any large way the problem of 
the House of Lords, or to formulate a struggle between the 
electorate and the hereditary legislators. London, as if 
to balance its unusual return of Liberals to Parliament, 
turned the Progressives out of office at the County Council 
election, and gave a large majority to the Municipal 
Reformers. The International Horse Show in the 
summer, with the ring turned at vast expense into a 
bowery garden, and millionaires' horses stabled in luxury 
like that of the famous horse of Caligula, was a thoroughly 
popular affair, and roused no democratic ire. Oppor- 
tunities occurred for disgruntled Tories tp maintain the 
view that the result of the general election had its root, 
not in deep political conviction, but in mere caprice, and 
a disregard of tradition and authority, which was in 
many ways deplorable, and in some dangerous. The 
outbreak of " living statuary " exhibitions at music halls ; 
the turning of country-house parties into reckless " rags," 
with young men and women pillow-fighting in corridors, 
or squirting soda-water siphons at one another ; a 
cheerful irresponsible interest in crime, which laughed at 
the impudence of the theft of the Gold Cup from Ascot 


racecourse, and enjoyed the wildest gossip about the 
far more mysterious and unpleasant loss of the regalia of 
the Order of St Patrick from Dublin Castle in July ; 
even such a break with tradition as the fact that the 
notable recipients of degrees at the Oxford Encaenia 
were popular idols like Mark Twain, Rudyard Kipling, 
and General Booth these were regarded as instances of 
the deplorable side of the change. The dangerous side 
was discerned in the introduction of Radical feeling into 
our control of Egypt and India. There was a fear lest 
expectations aroused among the Nationalists of those 
countries by the overwhelming return of a Liberal 
Government should be precipitated into open revolt. 
India, indeed, was already disturbed ; rioting took place 
in Calcutta in September, and a visit paid by Mr Keir Hardie 
about that time was deeply resented by the authorities. 
Lord Cromer, resigning in April the post in Egypt which 
he had held for nearly twenty-five difficult years, and 
returning to England in May, spoke with bitterness of 
the delivery of speeches by " irresponsible politicians " 
rousing unrest among Eastern peoples under our control. 
There was certainly on the Ministerial side a group of 
members who did not hesitate to affirm that both in 
India and in Egypt a Liberal Ministry ought to be taking 
steps towards establishing self-government, and with- 
drawing from a control which was " of little profit " to 
" the democracy " either in those countries or in England. 
Lord Cromer himself had fallen under special attack in 
1906. A riot had occurred in a village in Egypt to which 
some English officers had gone for pigeon-shooting ; 
one of the officers had died of injuries inflicted by the 
natives. For this four villagers were hanged, and eighteen 
others sentenced to various periods of penal servitude 
(two for life) and to flogging. It was argued that British 
officers had no right to go shooting in places where their 
presence was likely to cause such outbreaks, and that in 


any case the vengeance exacted had been outrageously 
severe. If such measures were necessary for upholding 
British prestige, then our presence in the country was 
unjustifiable. It was inevitable that the new Parliament 
should display a good deal of hostility to the traditional 
structure of our position both in India and in Egypt. It 
was a structure with which the aristocracy and the upper 
middle class chiefly had been concerned ; and members 
who felt their support to lie hi other ranks of the com- 
munity were not disposed to pass over in silence the 
activities of administrations based on conditions of an 
earlier day. The mistake of such members was to sup- 
pose that the British voter had any real knowledge of, or 
concern for, the affairs of our dependencies. The interest 
in them still remained an aristocratic and upper middle- 
class interest ; and spasmodic newspaper intelligence 
concerning India and Egypt, or even concerning the 
colonies, did nothing to create real opinion. 

In the sphere of foreign politics there did appear to 
be some change of the national habit. Since the entente 
cordiale had caught popular fancy, there had been an 
impulse to make our foreign relations depend less upon the 
exchanges of diplomacy than upon mutual acquaintance. 
The municipalities of capital and provincial towns visited 
one another, and these visits were interchanged not only 
between France and England, but also between Germany 
and England. A party of British journalists went to 
Germany in May, were received by the Emperor at 
Potsdam, and were feted in all the principal towns. The 
Lord Mayor and Corporation of London were the guests 
of the Municipality of Berlin in June. This new faith in 
the efficacy of a spirit less formal than that of diplomacy 
was largely due, of course, to the conviction that we 
owed our friendliness with France to the personal 
popularity of King Edward in Paris, and his own liking 
for the French. It was, in its way, a more striking 


example of the working of new ideas in national life than 
the general election had been, and even more hopeful 
from the Radical point of view. If the ordinary English- 
man could feel that our relations with foreign countries 
depended on himself, a new era of peace and common- 
sense might be dawning. Yet the movement became 
in this very year unexpectedly complex. Russia began 
to be drawn into our range of agreements. When the 
King was at Marienbad in the summer, for his accustomed 
" cure," he entertained the Russian Foreign Minister at 
lunch ; and a few weeks later an Anglo-Russian agree- 
ment, embodying terms of settled policy in regard to the 
relations between the two countries at certain long-vexed 
points of contact in Asia, was published. Now Radicals, 
if they were to encourage a popular interest in international 
affairs, were not going to let it be blindfolded, and they 
considered it to be a mockery of the democratic spirit 
to invoke its friendly inclinations on behalf of a tyrannical 
government. In the previous year a violent repression of 
revolution in Moscow had been succeeded by the summon- 
ing of the first attempt in Russia at a popularly elected 
assembly. The Duma, as this assembly was called, had 
shown considerable spirit ; it had demanded an amnesty 
for all political prisoners, the establishment of con- 
stitutional monarchy and the concession to itself of the 
right to initiate legislation. The Russian executive, not 
at all inclined to move at this speed, thwarted all these 
proposals, and the Duma was dissolved by the Tsar after 
ten weeks' existence. It happened at that moment that 
the Inter-Parliamentary Union was meeting in England, 
and representatives from this youngest parliament had 
been welcomed enthusiastically. When the news came 
of the abrupt end of its career, Sir Henry Campbell- 
Bannerman, speaking at a luncheon in honour of the 
Inter-Parliamentary Union, used the words: "La Douma 
est morte; vive la Douma! " Radicals could not embrace 


the prospect of a closer relation with the government 
which had treated so summarily the hopes of a new 
regime ; and they began to wonder if the appearance of 
fresh influences in international affairs had not been a 
little illusory. 

The summer of 1907 was the great Pageant summer. 
In 1905 the ancient little town of Sherborne in Dorset had 
felt impelled, largely by the fortunate fact of its having 
a claim upon the interest of a popular playwright Mr 
Louis Parker to celebrate its antiquity by an open-air 
dramatic representation of notable events in its history. 
These performances were a great success, and the town had 
found so much amusement in mustering its performers, 
dressing them, and beholding Saxons and Danes, 
Plantagenets, Tudors, Cavaliers and Puritans walking 
its streets, that other towns were filled with emulation. 
Writers were not wanting to construct episodes ; persons 
with some experience of the stage were ready to drill the 
performers ; few towns of importance were without a 
Saxon battle, or a charter from some Plantagenet king, 
a visit from Queen Elizabeth, or an association with the 
Civil War ; and few towns, too, lacked inhabitants with 
leisure enough to enjoy the mild fuss of committee work 
and organisation. Oxford, St Alban's, the Isle of Wight, 
Warwick, Coventry, Bury St Edmunds, Liverpool set 
up wooden structures in fields or parks, and inhabitants 
going about their daily affairs would be confronted with 
knights in armour; ladies in gay colours, farthingales 
and ruffs ; rude bowmen and long-haired Saxons. The 
fashion lasted into the two following summers, but with 
declining energy. It produced no really new or vital 
form of art ; the books of pageants were mere skeletons ; 
the episodes were monotonously similar in different towns, 
consisting almost always of battles, royal visits and other 
occurrences, which were local merely in the sense of 
having happened on the spot, and not at all in representing 


local character or atmosphere. At Oxford a Masque of 
Learning, interposed into the succession of episodes, 
afforded a glimpse of better things ; it depended for its 
effect upon ideas, as the old morality plays did. But it 
was the only attempt of the kind, and the Pageant move- 
ment died away without having called into being either 
a local art or a feeling for local history. It had been a 
mere excursion into amateur open-air performances of 
conventional stage notions. 

On the stage itself, however, new ideas seemed to be 
gathering strength. At the Royal Court Theatre Mr 
Granville Barker, in conjunction with Mr Vedrenne, had 
for some time been boldly producing plays which four 
or five years earlier would have appeared only at the 
Stage Society. There now existed a public for the drama 
of ideas, of social problems, of class foibles, and even of 
national foibles ; and in 1907 the Vedrenne-Barker 
management moved to a larger and more central theatre, 
the Savoy. New methods of acting were as characteristic 
of the management as a new standard of plays ; un- 
fortunately the larger size of the Savoy seemed to militate 
against the subtlety of the acting, and the venture lost 
some of its earlier success. One of the interesting results 
of the Vedrenne-Barker management was that it pro- 
vided a rallying-point for dramatists who were trying to 
break new ground. Mr Bernard Shaw had by this time 
attained a popular success ; and he had been the main 
support of the Court Theatre. Mr John Galsworthy, Mr 
St John Hankin, Mr John Masefield and Mr Granville 
Barker were the other notable figures of the group. An 
immediate consequence of the attempt to produce plays 
challenging the conventional judgments of society was 
increased resentment against the autocratic operation of 
the Lord Chamberlain's power of censorship over the 
London stage. An agitation was now set on foot which 
led to the appointment in 1909 of a select committee. 


Outside London, the most interesting theatrical develop- 
ments were the great success of the Abbey Theatre, 
Dublin, where the work of a group of Irish dramatists 
among whom Lady Gregory, Mr W. B. Yeats and Mr 
J. M. Synge were prominent was played by a company 
of actors more homogeneous than London, under the 
sway of the " star " actor or actress, ever produced ; and 
the establishment about this tune of a Repertory Theatre 
in Manchester, which soon made its name for courage in 
the production of plays, and success in acting them. 
But interest in the drama still remained the mark of a 
rather limited section of the public. 

In literature change and development were far more 
free. Of the older novelists two, who had had for long 
to be content with the devotion of the few, began to find 
their way to a wider recognition. The appointment of 
Mr George Meredith to the Order of Merit in 1905 made 
his admirers rejoice that there was, in this order, a 
personal distinction which he could accept with dignity ; 
as people had previously rejoiced in its bestowal upon 
Mr John Morley. 1 Mr Henry James saw his art by now 
more widely appreciated and understood. Fame had 
been reached at a bound by Mr William De Morgan, 
more slowly by Mr Arnold Bennett, both of them writers 
in the true succession of the romantic English novel. Mr 
De Morgan, bringing the experience of a long life and an 
extraordinary human sympathy to bear upon the way- 
wardness of his fellow-men, touched the feelings of a 
generation which (if sometimes only from slackness) was 
on the whole more genial and kindly than its predecessors. 
Mr Arnold Bennett, keenly alive to the swiftness with 
which traditions were being undermined, gave preserva- 
tion to lower middle-class types of a period incredibly 

1 The Order of Merit had been established by King Edward in 1902, 
largely with the intention of honouring those to whom the traditional 
honours could not be acceptable. 


close at hand in mere date. A mind as keenly, and more 
nervously, aware of change was that of Mr H. G. Wells. 
Having first found his public, in the days of the worship 
of science and invention, with novels that prolonged 
to most entertaining distances the avenues of possibility 
opened by the scientist, he had reacted immediately to 
the cry for efficiency. An early member of the Fabian 
Society, and imbued with the methods of the laboratory, 
he had thus two lines of intellectual response to that cry ; 
and he began to throw into the form of fiction, more and 
more characterised by wide sweeps of social analysis, his 
vision of the wastefulness and inefficiency of domestic, 
civic and political life. Curiously enough, as the novelists 
grew more searching, taste in literature became wider in 
its scope. Novels had to compete in the higher social 
ranks with volumes of memoirs and letters, which were 
often more entertaining in a society which had known 
the personalities appearing in such books, or knew their 
descendants. Less exalted people turned again to the 
essay, which had had little vogue since the death of 
Stevenson ; Mr Belloc, Mr E. V. Lucas, and Mr Max 
Beerbohm brought light hands to the practice of this art ; 
and Mr A. C. Benson occupied something like a popular 
pulpit. With the taste for memoirs went a taste also for 
history within reach of our own day ; Lord Rosebery's 
Napoleon, The Last Phase, and Mr George Trevelyan's 
works on the campaigns of Garibaldi largely formed this 

For some time past, women had taken an increasingly 
high position among English writers of novels ; more 
than one of the most prominent, such as Miss Robbins 
and Miss May Sinclair, were by now also responding to 
political developments in virtually restricting themselves 
to Feminist topics. 

In the autumn various stout efforts were made to 
convince the world that navigable balloons were to be 


our means of commanding the air. The achievements 
of M. Santos-Dumont have already been referred to. 1 
The French Government had an airship, La Patrie ; the 
German Government was supporting Count Zeppelin's 
experiments with enormous dirigibles, of which the 
gas-chambers were constructed from rigid materials, 
instead of from silk reinforced by rigid frames ; and the 
British army had an airship, the Nulli Secundus, on which 
great hopes were centred. When it sailed up from 
Aldershot to the Crystal Palace there was much excite- 
ment. But it was unable to make its way back against the 
wind, and was anchored in the Crystal Palace grounds. 
There it justified those who maintained that the vast 
unwieldiness of the " lighter-than-air " structure must 
always prevent it from becoming really effective. A 
storm came on, and the Nulli Secundus was ignominiously 
wrecked at its moorings. 

A labour movement which arose in the late summer 
concentrated sharply all the alarm which the Govern- 
ment's great majority had provoked among persons of 
property. For some weeks a prospect of a general strike 
threatened the railway system of the country. Railway 
employees were dissatisfied with their position, and the 
Amalgamated Society of Railway Servants was making 
representations to the directors of various companies. 
The directors now took the line of refusing to recognise the 
right of the society to general representation of railway 
men, and said that complaints would only be heard by 
each company from its own men. In minor ways this 
question of the " recognition " of trade unions had 
often been raised before. In some important cases, such 
as the cotton trade, it had never been fought as a principle ; 
in others, such as the mining industry, it had been settled 
years ago. It was, perhaps, unfortunate that in the case 
of railways the question should have been left open until 

1 Seep. 1391 


a time when it appeared to many people to be an osten- 
tatious exploiting by labour of a Government placed in 
power largely by a working-class vote. The railway 
directors pointed out that the Amalgamated Society only 
included one-fifth or one-sixth of the railway employees of 
the country, and therefore could not properly even raise 
the question of corporate representation. This implied 
almost as profound a disturbance of the practice of trade 
combination as the Taff Vale decision had made. If a union 
was to measure its responsibility solely by the proportion 
of its membership to the number of persons in the industry 
the work of a good many years would be largely lost. The 
society threatened a general railway strike, and for some 
weeks the position was full of anxiety. Mr Lloyd George 
intervened on behalf of the Board of Trade ; and when, 
after long negotiations, he succeeded in the peaceful 
establishment of a system of conciliation and arbitration, 
there was so great a relief that a certain tendency to 
regard him as a hot-headed demagogue underwent modi- 
fication. He was credited with possessing more genuine 
gifts of administration than his opponents had supposed. 
The settlement to which the two sides agreed under his 
guidance consisted in the division of railway employees 
into groups ; the creation on each railway system of a 
conciliation board for each group, composed of representa- 
tives of the masters and of the men ; and the appointment 
for each railway of a central board, with an independent 
chairman, on the principle of the Coal Conciliation Board. 
The chairman would have the power of making awards. 

The opening in June of one more tube railway from 
Charing Cross to Hampstead and Highgate completed 
this new network of London communications. The circle 
of the old Underground Railway had been cut, first length- 
wise by the Central London Railway, and now from north 
to south by the City & South London Tube on the east, 
the Highgate & Hampstead line in the middle, and the 


Bakerloo & Piccadilly tubes on the west. Some curious 
results followed. Brompton, for instance, had become 
a more convenient place of residence than parts of West- 
minster ; Chelsea Embankment was practically farther 
away than Hampstead. New suburbs began to arise in 
Hampstead, and the Garden City Movement could profit- 
ably set itself to work there. The more distant suburbs 
reached from Waterloo and Charing Cross had fresh means 
of pouring inhabitants into all parts of working London ; 
and the problem of the dreariness of Clapham or Stockwell 
lodgings for clerks, which at one time had begun to lead 
in the direction of hostels for young men, ceased to be 
important. Clerks could now lodge within reach of tennis 
and cricket and football. The capacity for " having a 
good time " had taken one more turn, and opened itself 
to more people. 

The end of the year saw also the end of a fantastic case, 
in which the public had from time to time found amuse- 
ment. The fifth Duke of Portland, who died in 1879, had 
been notoriously eccentric. He had been given to disappear- 
ing for weeks ; he had avoided the sight of his fellows, and 
built himself strange underground rooms and passages in 
his great park at Welbeck. Hence, when a story arose that 
a certain Thomas Charles Druce, the head of a furniture 
business in London, had really been this duke that the 
Duke, when he disappeared, was really carrying on a 
second existence as Mr Druce the wild romance obtained 
no little credulity. It became after a time a more serious 
affair, since the representatives of Mr Druce based upon it 
a claim to the Portland estates. They alleged that the 
coffin supposed to contain the remains of Mr Druce 
contained nobody at all, but that the Duke, in order to put 
an end to a double life which at last embarrassed him, had 
caused a mock funeral to take place. For some years this 
story was no more than a pastime to the public, and Mrs 
Druce's various applications to the law were regarded as 


the fruits of delusion. But in 1907 she brought forward 
evidence of a more definite kind; her witnesses were a 
man who alleged that he had attended the Duke, and had 
known him also in his Druce impersonation, and a woman 
who professed to tell the story of the empty coffin. 
Mrs Druce's case had become a joint-stock affair ; people 
invested money in it as a speculation, to be repaid with 
interest in the event of her success. The production of these 
witnesses brought matters to a head. There had always 
been assertions that the individuals in possession of the 
Portland estates had contrived to burke inquiry ; but there 
was no difficulty of that kind now. The only hesitation 
of the authorities arose from the fact that the whole story 
was so notoriously fantastic that to make any concession 
to it might seem undignified. On 27th December the 
chancellor of the diocese of London issued a faculty for 
opening the grave of T. C. Druce in Highgate Cemetery. 
Early one winter's day the work was done in the presence 
of accredited witnesses ; the coffin was found to contain 
the body of an aged and bearded man, " unmistakably " 
the Thomas Druce who was said to have been a fiction. 
Except for some necessary perjury proceedings against 
the two sensational witnesses, this closed the romance. 



THE year 1908 was the year in which the world 
first saw men flying. For some time it had been 
well known by those who had more than common 
knowledge of aeronautical invention that the " heavier than 
air " principle had been making great strides. The gliding 
experiments of Lilienthal and Pilcher had given such 
assurance to mathematical calculations of the behaviour 
of plane surfaces in air that the advent of very light motors 
had almost immediately turned gliding into flying. Vague 
reports arrived at intervals from the United States of 
experiments which were being conducted in secrecy at 
Dayton, Ohio, by two brothers named Wright. The 
general public was rather sceptical, and inclined to scoff 
at these rumours of flying men. Having no idea of the 
behaviour of plane surfaces in air, it imagined that 
tremendous lifting apparatus heavy lifting propellers 
would be absolutely necessary. So far as the public 
had seen any aeroplane inventions, it had acquired little 
respect for them ; it had witnessed small models at 
the Alexandra Palace flying about as well as superior 
paper darts. Mr S. F. Cody, with his large apparatus 
rather like a vast combination of box-kites, had no engine 
powerful enough to produce by traction the pressure re- 
quired to lift the affair. The best brains of motor engineers 
were not in England, but in France ; and the engine- 
makers naturally preferred to conduct their experiments 
in that country. It was France that now first witnessed 
a man flying in public. On 13th January M. Farman, 


a Frenchman, but the son of an English newspaper 
correspondent in Paris, leapt into fame by winning the 
Deutsch-Archdeacon prize of 2000 for a circular flight 
in a machine heavier than air. Broadly speaking, there 
had as yet been no other type of machine than the one 
he used ; therefore to speak of it as a biplane is an anach- 
ronism ; but for purposes of description the name may be 

Frequently after his prize flight M. Farman was seen 
in the air ; and when it was announced in September that 
Mr Wilbur Wright also had flown, covering a distance of 
thirty miles in forty minutes, it was a natural conclusion 
that mechanical flight would now develop very rapidly. 
If the Wrights had been brought out of their long seclusion 
by M. Far-man's sudden success, and had triumphantly 
flown, then the problem was solved, and the world had 
only to await swift developments. Nevertheless unbe- 
lievers were not at once converted. Flights as yet had 
only taken place in calm weather ; the Farman and 
Wright biplanes, though much less cumbrous than Mr 
Cody's evolution of the box-kite, were still very large 
things, and considered as lifting agents for a single human 
being were unwieldy and disproportionate. Moreover 
they rose but slowly from the ground, and required an 
apparatus of running rails, with weights and pulleys on 
uprights, to give them the initial impulse. 1 It was still 
easy, even if rash, for sceptics to express the conviction 
that flying could not be more than a cumbrous performance 
of short distances by single individuals. But enough had 

1 A curious example of the slowness of even brilliantly quick 
imaginations to distinguish between the essential and unessential 
elements in these first experiments may be seen in Mr Kipling's 
With the Night Mail, published this year: Professing to forecast 
the state of mechanical flight in A.D. 2008, it includes among 
advertisements of " crack " aeroplane makers, sets of running 
rails for starting: Such things had passed entirely out of use 
within twelve months of these first flightsj 


been done already to cause the experiments at Farnborough, 
first made notable by the patience and admirable self- 
confidence of Mr Cody, to be infused with new life. A 
biplane of the Farman type was secured. Men with real 
knowledge of engineering refused to see limits to possi- 
bilities now that engines of the kind used on these machines 
had been put together, and driven with success. The 
navigable balloon was not abandoned ; its power of lifting 
a number of persons remained a strong advantage over 
the aeroplane, and Zeppelin No. 4 in June made a flight 
with fifteen passengers on board, behaving well against the 
wind. But she was wrecked in August, and her achieve- 
ments did not for a moment turn men's minds from the 
aeroplane. The latter was far less costly than an airship, 
could be much more easily housed, and even at this early 
stage was more to be trusted against a wind. Experiments 
with airships continued for some years ; but the enormous 
bulk of their gas-envelopes, combined with the fact that, 
being lighter than air, they were extremely difficult to 
control at anchor, rendered them possessions beset with 

The assassination of the King and the Crown Prince 
of Portugal in the streets of Lisbon on 1st February 
was received with sorrow in England. King Edward was 
known to have a particular liking for King Carlos. One 
sequel to the event has importance for the observer of 
English manners and customs. King Edward and Queen 
Alexandra attended not only a memorial service at St 
Paul's, but a Requiem Mass at the Roman Catholic Church 
of St James's, Spanish Place. There was still, as we have 
seen in the matter of the Accession Declaration, a body 
of opinion in this country which regarded Rome as the 
Scarlet Woman ; but that King Edward should be able 
to attend a Requiem Mass showed a considerable advance 
in national common-sense and national respect for the 
sovereign. He was extraordinarily careful of public 


opinion, and not at all the man to affront it in such a 
connection, however strong his own wishes might be. 
There were some who managed to regard the incident as 
one more sign of the general loosening of ties of authority ; 
the bulk of the people, they said, sat so loosely to religious 
observances that it had ceased to matter what kind of 
service the King attended. It was at least equally true 
that a great part of the nation had infused a new life into 
their religion. If going to church had ceased among people 
of education to be a sign of respectability, if men of all 
classes used Sunday openly as a day of physical recreation 
and stayed away from church without any sense of being 
outcasts, the converse of this state of things was that the 
people who did go to church did not go for conventional 
reasons, but for spiritual reasons. Hence there had arisen 
a new respect for all religious observances a respect which 
ceased to regard them as mutually exclusive. King Edward 
could attend a Requiem Mass without being misunder- 
stood. The Pan-Anglican Conference, which assembled 
this year, stimulated reflections on the Englishman's 
religion. When such a conference had first been called, 
some thirty years earlier, there had been scoffing at the 
idea of the Church of England proposing to issue encyclicals 
or to command the lives of men by conclaves of bishops ; 
that might be done by the Church of Rome, but was not, 
it was said, the genius of the Church of England, which 
would only make itself ridiculous. In 1908 the Pan- 
Anglican Conference met without any such assumptions, 
but in very good heart. Those who listened in Canterbi 
Cathedral to the Archbishop's address to the concourse of 
dignitaries from the ends of the earth may well have beer 
startled, as their eyes fell on some recumbent archbishoj 
of the Middle Ages, to think how puzzled he must havf 
been if he had returned to life at that moment. Here 
were the leaders of a Church whose boundaries reached far, 
and very far, beyond anything he had dreamed, bishops 


whose presence would have been to him the token of an 
incredible authority over the life and wealth of many 
nations. Yet they were listening to no discourse on 
control or the enriching of the Church ; they were being 
addressed as having assembled to face humbly and 
patiently the advances of science and secular thought, 
and to consider how best in modern life the spirit of the 
Church might be upheld. How slowly, perhaps how 
scornfully, would that mediaeval prince of the Church 
have come to the knowledge that this ecclesiastical host 
had gathered, not as the relentless engine he would have 
aspired to wield for the purging of heresy, but as a con- 
templative assembly ! Yet if the conference met without 
conclusive power, it met without defiance or misgivings. 
Congregations in churches might be smaller than they had 
been ; but the work of the Church in general had returned 
to work of faith ; ethical impulses and intellectual activity 
were falling into line now as companions of, not the sub- 
stitutes for, that central appeal. 

The political year began much more briskly than it had 
done in 1907. A Licensing Bill was known to be in 
readiness, as the chief work of the session, and a scheme 
of Old Age Pensions was to make its appearance in con- 
nection with the Budget. A by-election in the Ashburton 
division of Devonshire early in January was fought with 
a good deal of fury. The militant suffragists had now 
attained a financial position which enabled them to take a 
prominent part in elections, and their policy of working 
against the Liberal caused some violent and unpleasant 
scenes. In the end a Liberal majority of 1283 was turned 
into a Conservative majority of 559. This was an 
unexpected shock to Ministerialists ; it had the effect of 
concentrating the party more keenly upon its work, with 
a desire to achieve more social legislation than the 
comparatively thin harvest of the previous year. 

But the session had hardly opened before it became 


apparent that the Prime Minister was seriously ill. He 
contracted influenza, and the strain of the past two years 
ill disposed him to meet it. The time approached at which 
it was King Edward's custom to go to Biarritz, to avoid the 
east winds of an English spring. There was some specu- 
lation as to whether he would hold to his plans, or would 
feel obliged to remain at home in case of a transference of 
the premiership. When it was announced that he was 
going abroad, as usual, the general supposition was that 
there would be no need for changes in the Government 
until his return. He went to call upon Sir Henry Campbell- 
Bannerman before leaving England, and spent an hour 
with him. King Edward was, as events proved, bidding 
farewell to a minister whose career had been in some ways 
as astonishing as any that ever brought a man to the right 
hand of the Crown. Left to bear the brunt of criticising 
the inception and conduct of the Boer War, he had come 
through the ordeal with only one phrase quoted against 
him, and that not an ill-tempered one. An uninspiring 
holder of office in earlier days, he was not a brilliant 
leader ; but, at the time he came into office, fight was itself 
the inspiration of the party under him, and all that his 
followers demanded was that the fire they could provide 
should be in hands in which it would burn clearly. He 
was clear and honest. He spoke plainly, and he could 
be silent. He knew better than to talk of one thing only, 
or on one level. He was kindly, and socially was never a 
bore ; he was not, like Mr Gladstone, an infliction to the 
sovereign. He had managed a difficult cabinet without 
leakage of secrets, and he had restored to Government 
a dignity of closed mouths, which it had recently come 
near to losing. It might be said by some that he trod 
on foes, rather than flourished banners, but the exclama- 
tions of the trodden-on sufficed to show his party where he 
was. It found him always where it expected to, and that 
was mainly the secret of his achievement. He died on 


22nd April, and was buried at his home in Scotland, 
Many men found that their loss in his death was greater 
than they would have thought possible three or four years 

He did not die as Prime Minister. He had resigned 
office on 5th April, having felt, no doubt, that affairs in 
Parliament demanded that the presence of a Prime 
Minister should be not lacking. Mr Asquith had been 
summoned to Biarritz. Again the observers of manners 
and customs had a theme for comment. The realm of 
England was left for some days without a Sovereign, 
a Prime Minister, or a Prince of Wales (for the Prince 
happened to be visiting the German Emperor in Berlin). 
This again was a matter of common-sense ; with the 
rapidity of modern travel, and the constant communica- 
tion by telegraph, there was no need to put the sovereign 
to inconvenience. Mr Asquith returned as Prime 
Minister, and some other changes befell. It was no 
surprise that Mr Lloyd George became Chancellor of 
the Exchequer. He had gained, before the Liberals 
came into office, a reputation that made him secure of a 
high position. The courage and debating power he had 
shown during the war and during the progress of the 
Education Bill of 1902 had been followed by a display 
of extraordinary platform adroitness during the fiscal 
controversy; he and Mr Winston Churchill had been 
the most persistently prominent champions on the Free 
Trade side. Now Mr Lloyd George had been able to add 
administrative reputation to his former achievements. 
His two chief Bills that establishing the Census of 
Production, and a Bill in 1907 compelling the working 
in this country of patents taken out in Great Britain, 
under penalty of the withdrawal of the patent had both 
been generally welcomed ; and his settlement of the railway 
difficulty, followed in the early part of 1908 by the settle- 
ment of a strike of shipyard engineers on the north-east 


coast, in which 30,000 men had come out against a 
reduction of wages, had displayed a capacity for sober 
and patient negotiation little expected from a man 
supposed by his opponents to be a courtier of the populace. 
None the less, his appointment to the Exchequer, though 
it had been anticipated, did not pass without shaking of 
heads. He was still, to a great part of the nation, essenti- 
ally a demagogue. Mr Winston Churchill succeeded him 
at the Board of Trade. Lord Elgin left the Colonial 
Office, not unaccompanied by rumours that his more 
Radical colleagues had found him wanting in enterprise. 
He was succeeded by Lord Crewe. Mr Runciman took 
over the harassing post of President of the Board of 
Education. Mr McKenna left that office for the 

This last change was associated with a curious story. 
Early in March a letter published in The Times headed 
" Under Which King ? "disclosed the fact that Lord 
Tweedmouth, then first Lord of the Admiralty, had been 
carrying on a correspondence with the German Emperor 
about British and German naval policy. This was felt 
to be extending, to a strange degree, the doctrine of 
personal acquaintance in foreign relations. Such an 
interchange might be good, or it might be bad ; but it 
was at any rate disturbing at a moment when our naval 
policy was being based more openly than ever on rivalry 
with Germany. The building of the Dreadnought, which 
had been so gratifying to national pride, was now perceived 
to be attended by most serious consequences. If battle- 
ship design was to be wholly altered, then that advantage 
over other nations which we had possessed in the numbers 
of our fleet had been in effect thrown away. If the battle 
fleet of the future was to be a Dreadnought fleet, then we 
started almost at scratch with other nations at least, 
with only the smallest start. When the Naval Estimates 
of this year came up for discussion, both the Prime 


Minister and Mr McKenna had to take quite openly, as 
the basis of debate, comparison of our position with that 
of Germany. Germany had passed a new Navy Law, 
involving the replacement of her first fighting fleet by 
ships of the Dreadnought type ; Mr Asquith and Mr 
McKenna had to give the House their calculations of the 
comparative strength of the two new navies in the years 
when the German law would have produced its full effects, 
principally in regard to 1911 and 1912. This was an 
awkward moment for the disclosure of correspondence, 
however admirably intended, between Lord Tweedmouth 
and the dictator of the German navy. Lord Tweed- 
mouth's resignation of the Admiralty was inevitable. 
He was at the time falling into bad health, and he only 
held for a few months the office of Lord President of the 
Council, to which he was transferred. 

During the year the public became as keenly interested 
in the new cruisers of the navy as it had been in the 
Dreadnought. Turbine engines had been introduced into 
a class of cruisers so big and well armed that they were 
hardly inferior to battleships. One of these vessels, the 
Indomitable, 17,250 tons, with eight 12-inch guns, was 
detailed to take the Prince of Wales to Quebec in the 
summer. On the return she was given a speed and en- 
durance trial right across the Atlantic. The Prince, true 
to his profession as a sailor, took the greatest interest 
in the cruiser's performance, and stood his turn at helping 
the stokers. The average speed made throughout the 
run was 24-8 knots. 

The new Government required all its energy. The 
Licensing Bill had been introduced on 27th February, 
and a storm had broken about it immediately. In brief, 
it proposed to establish the Peel system of reduction of 
licences till they reached a statutory proportion to 
population, with payment during a definite period of 
compensation, in lieu of notice, for licences suppressed 


before the end of that period. The statutory proportion 
was to be : in areas where the population averaged two 
to the acre, one licence to 400 persons ; where the popula- 
tion averaged from two to twenty-five to the acre, one 
licence to 500 persons ; and so on, up to a proportion of 
one licence to 1000 persons where the population averaged 
over two hundred to the acre. The time-limit was 
fourteen years. Over new licences the Bill established 
a system of local option ; and a certain form of option 
was to apply to old licences after the fourteen years. It 
was calculated that the number of licences which would 
be suppressed by the operation of these proposals was 
about 30,000. It was certainly a drastic Bill, and, 
as has already been remarked, in the wide field of the 
brewery share market the Bill became of immediate 
financial concern to a very large portion of the com- 
munity. 1 Those opposed to it were able to assert that, 
in its hostility to a specific trade, the Government was 
attempting to ride roughshod over the legitimate expecta- 
tions of innocent persons ; it was proposing to destroy 
assets upon the credit of which brewing firms had invited 
the investments of the public. Moreover, as debenture 
shares were open to trustee investments, a peculiarly 
unguarded class of the community those who as widows 
or orphans or otherwise were subject to trustees in the 
control of their means of livelihood would suffer. All 
the elements of opposition were organised skilfully. A 
mass meeting was held at the Queen's Hall early in March 
to protest against the Bill ; a loftier sphere of influence 
was stirred at the meeting of brewery debenture-holders 
under Lord Rothschild. By a coincidence unfortunate 
for the Government, a Liberal member for a London 
constituency, Peckham, died just at this date. A by- 
election ha any part of the country would have been 
a serious affair, but happening in London it became 

1 See p. 214.- 


the most amazing battlefield of contending interests. 
Never before had such a crop of minor political organisa- 
tions sprung up to obscure the regular party battalions. 
Some, which were nominally independent, like the militant 
suffragists, were in practice anti-Liberal. Some, like 
the Tariff Reform League and the Free Trade Union, had 
become familiar at all elections for the past four years. 
Others, mysterious in origin, such as a body calling itself 
the Coal Consumers' League, were transient crystallisa- 
tions of floating mistrust of the most democratic Govern- 
ment of modern days. Finally, the various avowed 
leagues of brewers and licensed victuallers naturally 
occupied all the space they could. The contest developed 
so extraordinary a character that within a few days it 
had became a kind of show. People from all parts of 
London joined the crowds in Peckham High Street, and 
through the packed masses round the various temporary 
platforms rolled waggons conveying " object-lessons " 
men dressed as miners protesting against a statutory 
eight-hour day ; imported manufactured goods with staring 
labels of their country of origin ; woman suffragists in 
prison dress. The misfortune of the election, from the 
Liberal point of view, was not only that it occurred in a 
spot to which all sorts of organisations could without 
effort despatch their speakers, but that Peckham was a 
Unionist seat, only won in the general triumph of 1906, 
and almost sure to revert now, even without such various 
appeals. It did revert ; the seat was won by the Unionist 
candidate, by nearly 2500 votes ; and the opponents 
of the Licensing Bill scored a useful point. 

It was doubtless an aftermath of this uproarious election 
which caused the mobbing of a meeting held by the United 
Kingdom Alliance in support of the Bill. But these 
scenes were associated with a particular kind of hostility 
to the Bill which the brewing firms and their supporters 
soon found it necessary to repudiate. They would have 


preferred rather less enthusiasm on the part of the licensed 
victualler, who as a class was not discreet in his methods 
or his expressions. Anything that could be called " the 
public-house element " had better have been out of 
the way. As it was, the supporters of the Bill outside the 
Liberal party ranks found new texts for their advocacy 
in the posters displayed at the bars and the working up 
of bar opinion. The Archbishop of Canterbury frankly 
spoke in the Bill's favour, and the Bishop of London 
presided at a demonstration on the same side. The Bill 
was taken as far as the end of the first clause in Committee, 
and was then carried over to an autumn sitting. 

There was some deploring of this postponement, on 
the ground of the opportunity it would give to rouse 
further feeling against the Bill. But a corresponding 
opportunity was open to advocates of the Bill, and their 
campaign was vigorous, and not ineffective. At any rate 
it was wise for the Government to give itself now to the 
popularity of introducing Old Age Pensions. The Budget 
statement (made by Mr Asquith, since the new Chancellor 
of the Exchequer had so lately assumed office) was cheerful. 
There had been a realised surplus of four and three-quarter 
millions, which was applied to the reduction of the National 
Debt. The estimated revenue for the coming year was 
157,770,000 and the estimated expenditure 152,869,000. 
This allowed a remission of the sugar-duty, costing 
3,400,000 ; and left enough for the cost of the first 
quarter's Old Age Pensions, 1,200,000, which was all 
that would fall on the present Finance Bill. Thus 
announced, the Pensions Scheme was introduced in a 
separate Bill. Pensions were to begin at the age of seventy 
years, and were to be five shillings a week. It was 
calculated that half-a-million people would come into 
the scheme, and that the cost would amount to about 
six millions a year. The hope was held out that in time 
the pensionable age would be reduced to sixty-five years. 


There was criticism of the scheme from the Opposition. 
The Unionist theory of Old Age Pensions had always 
been that the scheme should carry with it some form of 
contribution during early life should be, in fact, rather 
an insurance than a gift. But the theory had never been 
worked out in detail. The complaint about the free gift 
of the pensions was largely met by the answer that very 
many of the beneficiaries would, without the pension, be 
costing the community money as inmates of workhouses 
and infirmaries. Criticism of the Bill was, of course, 
dangerous ground ; few men wished to be notable in their 
constituencies as opponents of Old Age Pensions ; and 
the measure had therefore no real difficulties in the 
Commons. In the House of Lords, where there was no 
fear of constituents, opposition was rather more open. 
Lord Cromer went so far as to carry an amendment 
limiting the operation of the Bill to seven years. But 
this was an infringement of the privileges of the Commons, 
as touching finance, and the Speaker disallowed the 

Mr Burns appeared in the legislative programme this 
year with a Housing and Town Planning Bill. Arising 
out of the helplessness of town councils to prevent the 
haphazard growth of ugly and crowded suburbs, which 
ate up land that might have afforded open spaces and 
natural amenities, the Bill empowered local authorities 
to acquire land for other than immediate building pur- 
poses, and to lay it out on considerations other than those 
of strict commercial value ; and gave them some rights 
of control over the development of private estates. 
In his administrative work Mr Burns was as busy as 
ever. There were more prosecutions of local authorities 
in London some Mile End Guardians, and some members 
of the Poplar and Stepney Sick Asylums Board. 

It should be mentioned that in this year the Court of 
Criminal Appeal at last came into being. It had been 


set up by an Act of 1907, and held its first sitting on 
15th May 1908. Its work proved to be more expeditious 
and less heavy than some people had expected. Lord 
Halsbury had secured the introduction into the Bill of 
an amendment requiring that no appeal should be allowed 
except upon a certificate from the judge who tried the 
case. This was a guarantee against merely frivolous 
appeals, and also went some way to secure that juries 
should not be influenced by the chance of an appeal, a 
point about which a number of lawyers had been anxious. 
The summer brought a new amusement, the great 
exhibition ground at Shepherd's Bush. It was a much 
more magnificent affair than Earl's Court, where the 
Londoner had first learned to stroll about and listen to 
bands. The new ground was more spacious, and modern 
methods of building, with iron frames and reinforced 
concrete walls, had conjured up, on what had been almost 
a swamp, a small city of structures of most entertaining 
flamboyance. They were o<qcupied this year by a Franco- 
British Exhibition ; and the entente cordiale was still 
fresh enough to render the show very popular. The 
President of the French Republic paid a state visit to 
King Edward in May, and they visited the exhibition 
together. With its gardens, its waterways, its electric 
lights, its loggia restaurants, the White City sprang into 
a well-advertised popularity ; its amusements, such as 
the flip-flap and the scenic railway, suggested that the 
last traces of British self -consciousness had disappeared. 
The Olympic Games were held in England this year, and 
a large stadium had been built for them on the exhibition 
grounds. The public wearied rather quickly of watching 
the contests, and only the Marathon race stirred much 
excitement. It was run on a very hot day in July. An 
Italian, named Dorando, was first at the tape ; but he had 
fallen from exhaustion fifty yards from the finish, and 
some officials, with unfortunate zeal, had helped him to 


his feet. This was enough to disqualify him, and the race 
was awarded to the second man, an American, named 
Hayes. The results of the excitement lasted for some 
time, in the way that was by now growing familiar. 
Cheap newspapers caught at the word " Marathon,'? 
and any long race received the name ; there were even 
in due time four-in-hand Marathons. The United States 
kept the affair up more specifically. The respective 
merits of Hayes and Dorando were fought out in three 
or four later races in New York. There was, on a review 
of the results of the Olympic Games, some chagrin that 
Great Britain had not fared better ; the remarkable 
thing was that the chagrin should not have been 
greater. The croakers wagged their heads, and said that 
British youth was turning into a mere population of 
spectators at cricket and football matches, and had no 
longer any care for athletic reputation. It would have 
been sounder to take the view that the great spread of 
athletics, rather than a decline <5f interest in them, caused 
the philosophic temper with which the Olympic results 
were received. In the old days, when cricket and football 
were sports of the comparatively few, lawn tennis and 
swimming still more limited, and golf unknown in England, 
the less privileged part of the nation had to cling to the 
belief that its favoured members were the best athletes 
in the world. But now that hundreds of thousands were 
discovering by playing games themselves that prowess in 
games was difficult to attain, they had a more reasoned 
view, and were able to take defeat sportingly. It was 
because they played games now, that they could enjoy 
the game for its own sake. The only thoroughly satis- 
factory section of the Olympic Meeting, from the British 
point of view, was the regatta at Henley, where Great 
Britain swept the card. 

Soon after the autumn session began, the authorities 
took more severe action against the militant suffragists 


than they had hitherto cared to take. On several 
occasions throughout the year there had been scenes of 
disorder. In January women attempted to force an 
entrance to the Prime Minister's residence, while the 
Cabinet was sitting ; and the arrest of some of the 
women and their conveyance to the police station took 
place amid riotous scenes. A few days later the houses 
of various ministers were visited, and windows were 
broken. On llth February there was another attempt 
to march a large procession to the House of Commons, 
and some fifty women were arrested ; and two days later 
about ten of another deputation were arrested. At the 
end of June, after a further fight with the police in 
Parliament Square, there were twenty-nine arrests. 
The Women's Social and Political Union had grown 
enormously in numbers and influence ; an offshoot from 
it, the Women's Freedom League, was pursuing much the 
same methods of propaganda. The union had consider- 
able funds ; and women of wealth and education, attracted 
by the focussing power of a single objective, threw in 
their lot with the new societies. Thousands of women also 
who had never seriously considered the political or legal 
position of their sex embraced with fervour a fiery presenta- 
tion of the wrongs and slights to which it was subject. The 
Government was confronted with large numbers of women 
who, considering themselves outlaws under the existing 
system, determined to defy every convention or statute 
which had hitherto bound political action, whether it 
were an old law against assemblages within a certain 
distance of the Houses of Parliament, the customs govern- 
ing behaviour at public meetings, or the conventions 
surrounding private life. Moreover, they exacted the 
infliction of the penalties most likely to offend public 
taste. They refused to pay fines, and went to prison, 
adding thus not only an appearance of harshness in the 
attitude of the authorities, but a new form of attack on 


masculine government by agitation as to the conditions of 
prison life. Their answer to every protest against their 
behaviour was that the Government could put an end to 
it in a moment, by carrying a Woman Suffrage measure. 
To any objections on the ground of party disagreement 
on the subject, or the comparative indifference of the 
electorate, their answer was that the women's demand 
for a vote was a fundamental demand. 

Undoubtedly the agitation had completely altered the 
status of Woman Suffrage as a political question. In earlier 
years the efforts of suffrage societies had but slowly 
gathered adherents, and the mass of people never gave a 
thought to the matter. Now it was argued at street-corner 
meetings in every by-election ; campaigns were con- 
ducted up and down the country ; clever women speakers 
caught in the open-air people who would never have 
entered an ordinary meeting. Opposition and criticism of 
the methods pursued were persistent ; but that fact was 
in itself a great proof of the advance. Formerly the 
subject had hardly been vital enough to stir opposition. 
The older societies were themselves invigorated. Their 
dislike of violent methods became tempered by their 
admiration for the devotion and courage displayed, and 
by gratitude that the demand had been made real to the 
public. So the older societies joined with the new in great 
processions and demonstrations, such as those of the 
summer of 1908 in London. The processions were not 
only great in numbers, but were at times artistically 

Another riot in Parliament Square on 13th October was 
attended by circumstances that led the authorities to 
take fresh steps. On llth October a meeting had been 
held in Trafalgar Square, and handbills were distributed 
inviting the public to " help the suffragettes to rush the 
House of Commons." On this, summonses were issued 
against three of the most prominent leaders of the Women's 


Social and Political Union for inciting to an illegal act, 
and as the summonses were disregarded the three were 
arrested. Parliament Square was held by police on the 
evening of the 13th, and women again marched up in 
detachments to struggle with the cordons. The handbill 
did not seem to have had any effect upon the public ; 
the crowd retained its usual attitude of curiosity and 
amusement ; but twenty-one women were arrested. 
The three leaders endeavoured to give importance to their 
case at Bow Street by issuing subpoenas to Mr Gladstone, 
as Home Secretary, and Mr Lloyd George, who had been 
present at the meeting hi Trafalgar Square. But as a great 
many of the questions put for the defence were of a kind 
easy for the magistrate to disallow, the move was not 
effective. Nor was the attempt to prove that the word 
" rush " was not intended to be an incitement to violence. 
In default of being bound over in sureties to keep the peace, 
the three defendants went to prison. By this time the 
question was arising whether women suffragists in prison 
should be treated as political offenders and placed in the 
first division. Other uncomfortable questions were raised 
when, at a large suffrage meeting in the Albert Hall, at 
the end of November, militant suffragists interrupting Mr 
Lloyd George's speech were ejected with some violence 
from the audience. The policy of interrupting public 
meetings had long been pursued ; and the irritation of 
audiences at the hampering of well-known speakers had 
already led to unpleasant scenes ; but this occasion at the 
Albert Hall was the most important that had yet occurred. 
Briefly, the situation at the end of 1908 was that the whole 
subject of woman suffrage was on a new plane of reality ; 
support which had hitherto been given from considera- 
tions of expediency, or with the idea that the movement 
would not have any immediate importance, had fallen 
away ; on the other hand genuinely convinced politicians 
were formulating distinct schemes, some for partial 


woman suffrage, giving the vote to women occupiers 
and to married women whose husbands were qualified, 
or to women occupiers alone, others for complete adult 
suffrage. Finally the presence of a large body of women 
refusing to recognise anything but a Government measure, 
brought in at once, had united all women suffragists in 
a demand that the present Government should attend 
to the matter ; and the general public, fairly sure that 
nothing of the kind would be done at present, looked on, 
partly with indifference, partly with a vague feeling that 
the women had a good case, partly with resentment at 
the way they were pressing it. The elections in this year 
of two women as mayors, Mrs Garrett Anderson at 
Aldeburgh, and Miss Dove at High Wycombe, were useful 
to the feminist cause. 

Just before Parliament met for the autumn sitting 
there was a great demonstration in Hyde Park against the 
Licensing Bill. Special trains from all parts of the country 
brought up contingents. The Commons pursued their 
work on the Bill unmoved by the spectacle. Surmises 
were rife as to the treatment the Bill would receive in 
the House of Lords. It was to be expected that drastic 
amendments would be introduced. But the support which 
prominent members of the Bench of Bishops had given to 
the Bill, together with a feeling that important Unionist 
peers would not wish to identify themselves too strongly 
with the licensed victualling trade, led to the hope that 
the amendments would not be beyond negotiation. 
There was great amazement when the fate of the Bill was 
actually settled by the Peers without the formality of 
waiting for a debate upon it. A meeting was held at 
Lansdowne House on 24th November, at which a resolu- 
tion was taken to reject the Bill, as not advancing genuine 
temperance reform, while causing inconvenience to many 
of his Majesty's subjects, and violating the principles 
of equity. This meeting soon came to be regarded as a 


tactical error. It had not been easy hitherto to make the 
question of the powers of the House of Lords appeal 
stirringly to Liberals. Even after the failure of the Educa- 
tion Bill, though a stout Radical core of the party was for 
a campaign against the House of Lords, the mass of Liberal 
electors felt only a grievance for which abolition or curtail- 
ment of the powers of the Lords seemed to be a remedy 
rather out of proportion. But the complete rejection of 
a measure, which was the outcome of much Liberal cam- 
paigning and of long-established tendencies, by a private 
meeting of peers, called forth a very different feeling, and 
was, indeed, a very different assertion of power. Besides, 
it affected the Liberal party in the Commons differently 
from the loss of the Education Bill. It produced a more 
profound sense of struggling against unfair odds, and a 
more angry resentment. There was no longer any doubt 
that the results of the election of 1906 had implied some- 
thing which could not continue to exist without challenging 
the House of Lords. Before the year ended there had been 
more than one hint of the form of that challenge. The 
financial powers of the Commons had hitherto been 
regarded as supreme. If the recovery of the monopoly 
value of licences by the State after a limited period of 
years was refused by the Lords, steps could be taken to 
obtain a greater share of that monopoly value at once in 
the Finance Bill. At the same tune, with the establishment 
of Old Age Pensions and a certainty of heavy Naval 
Estimates, the time was ripe for giving taxation a wider 
grip upon private wealth. That Radical Budget which 
had been foretold during the election was now in the 
making ; and there was little concealment of the fact 
that it was to be the ultimate challenge to the Lords. 


1909-1910 : THE PEOPLE'S BUDGET 

EVERYTHING in the following year seemed to 
conspire to keep the country at a pitch of excite- 
ment in which it would, so to speak, take a general 
election in its stride a state of affairs always fortunate 
for the party in office. 

First of all wireless telegraphy stirred the public. A 
large Atlantic liner, the Republic, was rammed at sea by 
an Italian emigrant steamer, the Florida. Urgent distress 
signals were sent abroad by wireless, the Baltic (of the 
same line of steamers as the Republic) hurried to the rescue, 
and was in time to arrest disastrous loss of life. The 
marvellous summoning of ships from far beyond sight 
or sound vastly struck the popular imagination. It 
seemed to diminish almost unbelievably the perils of 
the sea. 

Dramatically following this achievement of civilisation 
came an incident which seemed to show that, the more 
civilisation advanced, the more easily could its machinery 
be jarred by any who did not shrink from extremes of 
force. Two foreigners robbed a clerk in a Tottenham street 
of eighty pounds, which he was carrying from the bank to 
pay wages. They sprang upon a tram, forced the driver with 
a pistol at his head to drive on, and fired vigorously upon 
then* pursuers. They shot dead a policeman and a boy. 
Leaving the tram, they made a final dash on foot, still 
using their weapons. Fourteen more people were wounded, 
and then, as the chase closed on them, both men shot 
themselves. One was found dead beside a ditch ; the 


318 THE PEOPLE'S BUDGET [1909-1910 

other, who had taken refuge in a cottage, terrifying all 
its inhabitants, was found so badly wounded that he died 
soon after in hospital. Civilisation, it might be said, had 
after all reasserted itself, not in the mere finish of the 
chase, but in the extraordinary unconsciousness of peril 
with which the crowd kept up the pursuit. Miscreants 
might, it appeared, reckon on a modern citizen having 
forgotten that pistols existed. He had indeed so far 
forgotten as to have little fear. 

Events of a different kind stirred other sections of the 
community. The long-expected report of the Royal 
Commission on the Poor Law was issued in January, and 
proved to be two reports. Both groups of the- commis- 
sioners agreed in recommending the extinction of boards 
of guardians ; but while the majority desired the appoint- 
ment of new specific authorities, controlling large areas, 
working on a wider and less penal theory, and exterminat- 
ing the old ignominious associations of poor relief, the 
minority wished to see the various branches of Poor Law 
work separated from one another and placed under exist- 
ing local authorities, so that in fact no Poor Law should 
continue to be. Mr John Burns, in whose department 
this matter fell, held out no hopes of legislation on either 
report. He believed that he had power, by orders of the 
Local Government Board, to go very far towards breaking 
up the rigidities of the Poor Law, and its combination 
of processes better attended to separately. He preferred 
proceeding by administrative detail to introducing a Bill, 
which must inevitably suffer by criticisms aimed upon it 
from all angles of detail at once. Mr Burns had by this 
time fallen far out of favour with Labour representatives, 
largely because of his apparent indifference to their eager- 
ness for Labour legislation. 

In Labour circles, the interest of the moment was the 
resignation of Mr Ramsay Macdonald, Mr Keir Hardie, 
Mr Philip Snowden and Mr Bruce Glasier from the 

1909-1910] THE PEOPLE'S BUDGET 319 

National Council of the Labour party, " owing to the 
movement of irresponsibility which has grown up inside 
the party." In the previous year a resolution had been 
carried by a rather narrow majority at the Labour Party's 
annual conference, identifying the party with socialism. 
Previously there had been no such identification. The 
carrying of the resolution followed upon the appearance 
among Labour members of Parliament of Mr Victor 
Grayson. He had made it clear that he was hostile to 
the Labour party's general method of co-operation with 
the Liberals. He was an advanced socialist, and parlia- 
mentary methods were to him a middle-class sham. 
For defying the rules of the House, in pursuance of this 
conviction, he had been suspended in October 1908. 
This was the most public sign of the " irresponsible spirit " 
against which the leaders of the party now protested. 
The party was in an uneasy position. One of the effects of 
the general election had been to put capital on its guard. 
Labour was to be shown that, if it had advanced far, 
it had not a secure base to rely upon. The refusal of 
recognition to trade unions by masters was a step in this 
direction. Another, and a more serious one, was the 
discovery, by a judgment of the Court of Appeal delivered 
late in November 1908, that a compulsory levy by the 
unions on their members for purposes of parliamentary 
representation was not sound in law. Unable really to 
affect the Government's position in the division lobbies, 
yet losing ground with its own supporters because it failed 
to press for more Labour legislation ; suspecting that 
masters of labour in many industries were not indisposed 
to let the unions try their power, on the chance that the 
public would weary of strikes, and the unions would find 
out weaknesses in themselves the Labour party seemed 
in 1909 to retain little of the triumphant glow of 1906. 
Yet two of the measures of this year were directly for the 
amelioration of labour. One was the Trade Boards Bill, 

320 THE PEOPLE'S BUDGET [1909-1910 

setting up boards with power to appoint a legal wage in 
certain industries peculiarly subject to sweating. The 
other was the Labour Exchanges Bill, dividing England 
into ten divisions, each with a clearing-house for 
labour co-ordinated with a central clearing-house in 
London ; 30 or 40 exchanges were set up in large 
towns, 45 in smaller towns, and 150 minor offices. A 
joint advisory committee was to be formed from represen- 
tatives of employers and employed in every large centre, 
under the chairmanship of a permanent official. Any 
person out of work could apply for registration at one of the 
exchanges ; and if openings were found in other places 
applicants were to be given cards which would provide 
lodging at Poor Law Institutions on the way, without 
incurring the disabilities attaching to poor relief. Un- 
employment had been given a new voice by the strange 
and almost fantastic organisation of the " hunger 
marchers." These men were not appealing quite vaguely 
for aid ; they were banded together on a theory that work 
could be found, and even a modest competence, for the 
unemployed, by putting them to cultivate waste lands. 
But the majority of them hardly had the determination 
required to sustain life on cabbages and potatoes ; that 
freedom of soul was confined chiefly to their extremely 
idealist leader. 

The great battle in Parliament was not long in coming 
to a head. The King's Speech called attention to the fact 
that, owing to the necessary provision of money for Old 
Age Pensions and the increased Naval Estimates, the 
Budget would require both long and serious discussion, 
and would be the principal business of the year. On 29th 
April it was introduced. The cost of Old Age Pensions had, 
it appeared, been under-estimated ; it would be a good deal 
more than six millions, and indeed the Opposition was not 
far out when it put the cost at something like twelve 
millions. The charge for this service, and the demands of 

1909-1910] THE PEOPLE'S BUDGET 321 

the navy, meant a prospective deficit, as taxation stood, of 
fifteen and three-quarter millions. The first step towards 
meeting this would be to diminish the provision for 
repayment of the National Debt by three millions. Then 
came the unfolding of new methods of taxation. The 
distinction between earned and unearned incomes was to 
be carried further. On all earned incomes under 3000 the 
income-tax was to remain at 9d. ; on earned incomes over 
that figure and on all unearned incomes the tax was to be 
Is. 2d. ; on incomes over 5000 a super tax of 6d. was to be 
paid on the amount by which they exceeded 8000. 
Lower middle-class incomes were relieved by an abatement, 
on those below 500, of 10 of the income for every child 
under sixteen years of age. Next came landed property. 
A tax of 20 per cent, was levied on " unearned increment " 
in land values, payable on the sale of land, on leases for 
more than fourteen years, and on the passing of land or 
landed interest at death, the increase in the value to be 
reckoned from 30th April 1909, or from the last payment 
of the tax. Agricultural land, small residences, and small 
holdings were exempted. A duty of a halfpenny in the 
pound was levied on undeveloped land, where the site 
value was over 50 an acre. In the original proposal the 
same duty was levied on ungotten minerals ; but this was 
altered in committee to a tax of one shilling in the 
pound on mineral royalties. Next came the turn of 
the licensed victualling trade. A tax of 50 per cent, was 
laid on the annual value of all licences, hotels and restaur- 
ants to have the alternative of paying either 25 per 
cent, of the annual value or a duty according to the 
proportion borne by sales of intoxicating liquor to total 
sales. A proposed duty of threepence in the pound on 
the sales of liquor in clubs was altered in committee to 
a duty of sixpence in the pound on the club's purchase 
of liquor. The spirit-duty was increased by 8s. 9d. a gallon ; 
the tobacco-duty by 8d. a pound. A graduated tax was 

322 THE PEOPLE'S BUDGET [1909-1910 

placed on motor vehicles used for other than business 
purposes, and a tax was also placed upon petrol. 

The outcry against such a Finance Bill was immediate. 
Super-taxation was denounced as a deliberate piece of 
class legislation ; taxation of land values even more so. 
The Government was warned that the cost of the enormous 
labour of land valuation, which must be undertaken in 
order to provide a starting point for assessment of incre- 
ment, would so far swallow up the proceeds of the tax that 
its unprofitableness would expose it as a mere vindictive 
attack. Licence-holders equally asserted that the new 
duties falling upon them were a piece of revenge for the 
failure of the Licensing Bill. On the Liberal side there 
was satisfaction at the determination to prove that under 
a Free Trade system taxation still had its elasticity, and 
that Tariff Reform could not be advanced as the only 
method of meeting steadily growing expenditure. A 
Budget that could deal immediately with a deficit of 
fifteen and three-quarter millions could afford to include 
proposals for land taxes, which must, when once the 
valuation was accomplished, bring in an ever-increasing 
revenue. Moreover, such a valuation, with the accom- 
panying tax on undeveloped land, would tend to bring 
land into the market, and so meet a bitter Radical 
grievance. The Conservative answer was that it would 
bring so much land into the market that prices would fall 
disastrously, the countryside meanwhile being everywhere 
robbed of the old relation between great landowners and 
their people. 

It was not, in spite of Lord Rosebery and others who 
applied this epithet to it, a " revolutionary " Budget. 
People who spoke of it in that way had presumably little 
acquaintance with the doctrines of the land-taxers, the 
single-taxers, and others who wished to see new principles 
of taxation rather than even the most drastic readjustment 
of existing principles. The Budget was, indeed, a social 

1909-1910] THE PEOPLE'S BUDGET 323 

rather than an economic achievement. For twenty years 
past the rich had been growing richer ; very large incomes 
were much more numerous than they used to be ; and it 
was equally true that high middle-class incomes, running 
well into the thousands, were much more numerous. 
The super tax was, in a sense, the State's claim for a return 
on the amazing field it had opened by the Limited Liability 
Acts, and on all the indirect services by which it rendered 
possible a world-wide trade. But to many reformers it 
appeared that the time was ripe for fundamental recon- 
sideration of taxing. Strong as the present Budget was, 
it was of the old family of Budgets in its combination of 
direct and indirect taxation, its gathering of a handful 
here and a handful there. Pitt would have understood 
what it was all about. 

However, opposition to the Finance Bill was not likely 
to enter into considerations such as these. The proposals 
aimed high and far. Mr Lloyd George supported them in 
a speech at Limehouse, which was seized upon as a frank, 
if not shameless, confession of legislating against one class 
for the sake of another. " Class " by this tune had come 
to mean almost entirely a distinction of wealth. In the 
heat of the controversy men threatened to sell their 
estates, and invest the money abroad ; women threatened 
to dismiss servants ; financiers to transfer their business 
to foreign capitals. Yet it remained a most striking fact 
that not all the loudly proclaimed uneasiness about a 
Radical Government, not all the fear of democratic up- 
heaval and the power of trade unions, hampered the growth 
of trade. The monthly returns advanced almost without 
a check. Consols were falling ; but the rate of interest 
on them was so low that in the great modern field of invest- 
ment they could not possibly find a strong market. At 
any rate, trade in general remained so buoyant as almost 
to suggest that a democratic government which kept 
the peace abroad was less disturbing to business, when all 

324 THE PEOPLE'S BUDGET [1909-1910 

was said and done, than a Conservative government which 
broke that peace. 

It must be said that below the surface the atmosphere 
was not altogether calm. The year 1909 witnessed a very 
acute stage of naval rivalry between Great Britain and 
Germany. Public opinion was agitated by a violent out- 
burst of criticism of the Admiralty's policy, in which Lord 
Charles Beresford was prominent. Nor was it quieted 
when, on the production of the Naval Estimates, the Prime 
Minister andMrMcKenna stated that the comparisons they 
had made in the previous year had been based upon an 
erroneous assumption as to the rate of construction of 
ships in German yards. The crucial moment was now put 
at March 1912, when it appeared that on existing arrange- 
ments Great Britain would have twenty Dreadnoughts 
and Germany seventeen. The Government's policy showed 
some consciousness of uncertainty by including in the 
programme of new construction four " contingent " ships, 
to be laid down if the German naval programme appeared 
to threaten the margin of superiority. These ships were 
in addition to four definitely on the year's programme. 
Sir Edward Grey announced that, if the Government found 
information as to the progress of German building difficult 
to obtain, it would give Great Britain the benefit of the 
doubt ; and, in fact, on 26th July, Mr McKenna announced 
that the " contingent " ships would be laid down at once. 

These proceedings brought vigorous criticism on the 
Ministry from a large section of its supporters. England 
appeared to these critics to be pursuing not a line of inter- 
national understanding and plain dealing ; but a policy 
of combinations of Powers from which she had for many 
years now been fortunately free. The agreement with 
France, which had been so generally welcomed at first, 
seemed now to be rather more like an alliance, though not 
one in technical terms. The agreement with Russia was 
too much like the old sort of diplomatic sequel to be 

1909-1910] THE PEOPLE'S BUDGET 325 

popular with Liberals ; and the meetings between King 
Edward and the Tsar at Reval in 1908 and at Cowes in 
1909 had been attended by a less general sympathy than 
had attached to the King's relations with the French. 

Even the Budget and the Naval Estimates had other 
excitements and interests to compete with. Indeed, 
discussion on the latter point was entirely swept out of the 
public mind for a few days by the fact that, just after 
the estimates had been introduced, telegrams arrived from 
Lieutenant Shackleton, the leader of an Antarctic expedi- 
tion, conveying the news of a journey which had so nearly 
reached the South Pole that for all practical purposes the 
feat had been accomplished. By a curious coincidence, 
the North Pole took also in this year its share of popular 
excitement. On 1st September it was announced that 
an American, Dr Cook, had returned to the habitable 
confines of the Arctic circle, having been successful in 
reaching the North Pole in April 1908. This thrilling 
news was amazingly followed by an announcement, five 
days later, that Peary had reached the Pole in April 1909. 
Peary's name was well known ; he had done already 
much Arctic exploration. Dr Cook's name was not known 
at all. By itself the first announcement had not been 
regarded with any deep suspicion ; the world was pre- 
pared to await Dr Cook's account of his performance, and 
the production of his observations. But when Peary's 
announcement was made, the liveliest controversy was 
seen to be looming ahead ; he would not like to have been 
beaten. Both men returned to civilisation. On the face 
of it, Dr Cook's story was less convincing than Peary's, 
and his statement that he had left his scientific records 
behind in Greenland was a particularly weak point. Peary 
pursued his rival with determination ; he went and in- 
terviewed the Esquimaux whom Dr Cook had designated 
as his companions for the greater part of his journey, 
and their evidence was sufficient in the public mind 

326 THE PEOPLE'S BUDGET [1909-1910 

to destroy, finally, the claims of Dr Cook. Peary's achieve- 
ment was real. His observations passed the scrutiny 
of scientists and Polar explorers ; and the discovery of 
the North Pole was acknowledged to have been made. 
In the summer mechanical flight was seen to have 
advanced with a rapidity which took people's breath away, 
when they reflected that it was little more than twelve 
months since the first public flight. Not only was the 
thing being done almost daily in France, but already 
daring pioneers had discovered that single planes would 
keep them in the air, instead of the double planes which 
made a rather cumbrous machine. In July a machine of 
the new type crossed the Channel and came safely to earth 
in a field behind Dover Castle. It was piloted by M. 
Bl^riot. An attempt to cross on a monoplane had been 
made on 12th July by M. Latham, but his motor failed 
and he fell into the sea. After M. B16riot's success, on 
25th July, M. Latham tried again on the 26th, but again 
his motor failed, this time when he had almost reached 
the English coast. The aeronauts had waited some time 
on the French side for favourable weather. But, before 
the year was out, the conception of what was possible 
weather for flying had undergone a great change. Nothing 
was more extraordinary about the progress of flying than 
the rapidity with which it made its advances. Machines 
as clear and simple in their lines as a great dragon-fly had 
been] evolved within twelve months from the double- 
plane machines. Now in the autumn of 1909 men 
affronted in the ah* winds which even in the summer 
of that same year would have been considered pro- 
hibitive of flight. Several aviation meetings had taken 
place in France before England saw one. On 15th 
October a flying week began at Blackpool. There M. 
Farman first surprised the people by flying for half-an- 
hour hi gusty and uncertain weather ; but the final 
sensation was provided by M. Latham's flight twice round 

1909-1910] THE PEOPLE'S BUDGET 327 

the course in a wind that seemed to the spectators not far 
from a gale. Some persons put the strength of the wind 
at forty miles an hour. After this, aeroplanes may be 
said to have shaken off the last disbelief in their future. 
They were not any longer toys for a still day. 

Besides being the flying year in England, 1909 was also 
the motor-cab year. Although these cabs were principally 
a London affair, and were only introduced in other large 
towns slowly and in comparatively small numbers, they 
had a significance not confined to London. The first 
great epoch of the motor car had closed. The period 
of the enthusiasm of pioneers and the period of large, 
kingly, powerful machines for the fortunate few had 
expanded into a period of moderate, admirably efficient 
cars for people of merely comfortable incomes. But 
other grades of income and social position had to be 
tapped, if the motor manufacturers were to create the 
market required by establishments set up at the highest 
point of the boom. Could cars be made cheaply enough 
for use as cabs, and at the same time well enough to stand 
the inevitably severe wear and tear ? For a year or two 
experiments in this direction had been discouraging. 
But with perseverance success was attained ; and once 
the new cabs, fitted with taximeters, had become numerous 
enough to avoid disappointing a public ready to look out 
for them, their advance was unchecked. The speed of 
the new conveyances, the ease of their motion, combined 
with the positiveness of the taximeter in place of the 
weary old uncertainty of cab fares, delighted the public. 
Moreover, Londoners possessed for the first time a closed 
cab which was clean and pleasant. Motor omnibuses had 
for months past been ousting the horsed omnibuses. In 
spite of their noisiness they offered advantages of speed 
which made their future assured. When motor cabs 
came with a rush, in 1909, the streets of London underwent 
suddenly that change which had not been expected to 

328 THE PEOPLE'S BUDGET [1909-1910 

occur for a generation at least. 1 A typical photograph of 
such a spot as Broadway, Westminster, in the coronation 
year showed not a single motor vehicle ; motors then were 
the private conveyances of the rich. A photograph of the 
same spot in 1909 showed hardly any horsed vehicles, 
and such as there were, were tradesmen's vans. The 
change had several points of subsidiary interest. Humani- 
tarians rejoiced to see the disappearance of horses from 
the inevitably cruel work of drawing omnibuses on hard, 
and too often slippery, streets. The controllers of traffic 
saw the advantage of vehicles taking up far less room than 
those drawn by horses. Sanitary authorities and officers 
of health began to look forward to a day when the detritus 
of town roadways would cease to be offensive and danger- 
ous to human life. In a more general respect, this 
familiarising of the public with the use of motors practi- 
cally put an end to the old outcries against them. 
Wealthy owners of big powerful cars, it is true, no longer 
wanted so much to show them off ; but the hirer of a 
taxicab had his share in the change, by ceasing to regard 
cars as privileged possessions. The success of the motor 
cabs was also one more proof of a widely spread increase 
in the means of middle-class people, and an equally wide 
inclination to spend money. The cabs were more expen- 
sive to maintain than the old horsed cabs ; and could 
not have become so numerous without a considerable 
increase in the habit of hiring cabs. Such general con- 
siderations as these make the appearance of the taxi- 
cab a matter of national, and not merely London, interest. 
In the campaign which, during the summer, Liberal 
members fought for the Finance Bill, its value as a triumph- 
ant assertion of Free Trade played a great part. The 
Tariff Reform movement had hardly been checked at all 
by the general election ; its advocates confessed that the 
country needed more education on the subject than they 

1 See p. 194. 

1909-1910] THE PEOPLE'S BUDGET 329 

perhaps had foreseen ; and they laid themselves out to 
provide it. But the leader of the movement, the source 
of the power which it had attained over the public mind, 
the man who had been able to give such new life to the 
idea of a tariff that men forgot all the Fair Trade move- 
ment of the eighties and all the more recent talk about a 
broader basis of taxation, and thought of Tariff Reform 
as a new thing, sprung up in a single conception this 
leader had fallen out of the fight. Mr Chamberlain had 
had a paralytic stroke ; and, although hopes were enter- 
tained of his recovering from the worst effects of it, he 
was not expected to be active in politics again. Few men 
had lived as hard in political life as he had. If he had 
missed the supreme prize of political power, he had attained 
a personal influence in the nation such as a great many 
Prime Ministers had missed ; and his was one of the names 
that could not drop out of the political history of his 
country. Even apart from the details of his career, he 
would stand for some of the most remarkable developments 
of middle-class politics that had ever taken place. His 
most ardent followers were not the young men, but the 
men of ripe years and experience. This was the truth of 
the admiration for him as a "business man" in politics. 
He was not really that, so much as an idealist. But he 
caught the imagination of the business man as no one 
else had ever done. Without bringing it to such a pitch 
of formulation as Disraeli achieved with Young England, 
he stood for England in the Prime of Life, and that was the 
robust core of his Imperialism. He saw Great Britain as 
the father with grown sons the situation in which old 
home instinct must be replaced by some new bond of 
interest and understanding, if the family is to hold 

England lost in this year two mighty voices Swin- 
burne and George Meredith. Widely different as their 
work was, a like fire had inflamed their genius. Both 

330 THE PEOPLE'S BUDGET [1909-1910 

had been gloriously kindled by the uprising ot Italy ; 
the manhood of both found its brightest hopes, the object 
of its most ardent admiration, in the triumph of the French 
Republic. Some of the noblest passages that either of 
them wrote resound with the feet of marching nations. 
But Swinburne, flooded with passionate exaltation, fixed 
his rapt eyes upon the flutter of banners ; Meredith 
scrutinised the faces of the men that marched. Conse- 
quently Meredith's spirit, less carried away by the rushing 
wings of the Mater Triumphalis, was saved from the savage 
depression of The Halt before Rome. In truth, the likeness 
of their youthful inspiration falls into insignificance before 
the unlikeness of their maturity. One was a visionary, 
the other a seer. Swinburne, early acclaimed by eager 
youth, had for some time before his death passed his 
zenith. Impatient, overbearing, he lost sight of humanity 
when the flags no longer waved. Life ebbed from his 
palaces of poetry ; and too often the later structures he 
raised seemed designed to put artifice in the place of life. 
He came to dwell increasingly upon the past of England, 
rather than on the present or the future ; the poems he 
published during the Boer War had only this mechanical 
inspiration. Meredith, on the other hand, had turned 
early, not only from the flamboyances of poetry, but from 
ordinary conceptions of that art, to " strike earth," and 
in his poetry, as in his fiction, to probe the facts under- 
lying existence. His noble work was strengthened, not 
sapped, by the passing years ; life ran ever more strongly 
into the moulds of his thought. It does not fall within the 
scope of this book to appraise his position in literature. 
But the immense influence he exerted upon the minds 
of intelligent English men and women, and his Liberal 
creed triumphantly upheld during a long life, are historical 
facts. Men felt at his death both how giant-like was the 
personality that had fallen, and how his unswerving 
insight had broadened the realm of the spiritual. 

1909-1910] THE PEOPLE'S BUDGET 331 

The Liberal stake on the Finance Bill was high. Lord 
Lansdowne intimated early in August that the House of 
Lords was ready to try conclusions on that issue. This 
meant that the long-established immunity of financial 
measuies from the power of the House of Lords was to be 
set aside, and the conflict between the two Houses raised 
in a form which must bring about a general election. 
If Liberals were beaten, they would not only be put back 
in a position in which their next return to power must be 
under the same ultimate control of their proposals ; they 
would also have given Tariff Reformers the right to say 
that the electors did not support the kind of finance which 
a Free Trade Government must pursue, in its need for 
money. The conclusion would be that the country was 
prepared to see a Tariff Reform Budget. The game was 
played through. The House of Lords, taking its stand 
chiefly on the argument that this was not, in the old 
sense, a financial measure, but a bundle of legislation tied 
round with the Budget string, and arguing also that 
tradition forbade the Lords to amend the Commons' 
proposals for finance, but did not forbid them to reject, 
threw out the Finance Bill. The Liberals, winning the 
election, won not only their Budget, but also a long step 
in the conflict between their party and the House of Lords. 
It was now clear that as heavy a stake had been laid down 
by the other side as the Liberals had put on the table. 
Electors had decided outright on a question between 
the two Houses ; and not even Mr Gladstone had been 
able to bring the country to that point before. 

Nor was this all. The Liberal party returned to office 
on this second occasion diminished to some degree in 
numbers, but vastly more sure of its ground. The results 
in 1906 had had some of the unsatisfactory character 
of a "freak." Liberals, not having expected any such 
overwhelming triumph, were rather at a loss to gauge the 
feeling behind it. In so far as that feeling had been one 

332 THE PEOPLE'S BUDGET [1909-1910 

of irritated impatience with the late Unionist Ministry, it 
would be likely to turn into equal irritation with advanced 
Radical legislation. Moreover the very general belief that 
the results were due more to Labour than to Liberalism 
had caused some uneasiness in the Ministerial party, 
and some mistrust of the Government's being driven 
further than it was wise at the moment to go. That 
uncertainty, too, was swept away by this second election, 
following on the course of events in the Parliament of 1906. 
The Labour party had achieved the principal items of its 
programme the Trade Disputes Act, Old Age Pensions, 
measures aimed at dealing with unemployment and 
sweating. The passing of these Acts had revealed the 
Labour party as devoid of any systematic new principle of 
politics as advanced Radicals rather than revolutionaries ; 
and advanced radicalism, though enough to keep Con- 
servatives anxious, was not enough to make Liberals 
afraid, as many had been in 1906, of a remaking of 
their party creed. Finally, the effect of this second 
election was to suggest that, if in 1906 the country had 
embarked upon an experiment, it had not been appalled 
by the results. Free Trade had, of course, again played 
a considerable part. But the Liberals stood now to be 
judged on accomplishment, not merely on expectations ; 
and their return to power was free from much of the 
ambiguity that had attended their position before. 

From this time Unionists began to face at last the fact 
that the mind of the country was deeply altered. This 
does not mean that it had become necessarily more 
Radical. But the Unionist party had not perceived that 
it was itself as much a party of change as the Liberal 
party was. Tariff Reform was not, as some Liberals were 
apt to say, pure reaction. It was not the traditional 
Protectionist policy of Mr Chaplin. It was a transmutation 
of previous movements into a new spirit of change, 
of national self-consciousness alike in foreign and 

1909-1910] THE PEOPLE'S BUDGET 333 

colonial affairs, of industrial efficiency and economic 
sociology as the governing factors in domestic affairs. 
Unionists now at length awoke to the fact that uncon- 
sciously they had swum as much with the altered social 
current as the Liberals had done consciously. The Social 
Reform group that was shortly to appear on the Unionist 
side was really an acknowledgment that that party 
depended no less than Liberals upon the interest it could 
arouse in a nation which, rendered lively by the high- 
pitched notes of its newspapers, by the universal spread of 
the means for having a good time, by a spirited liberty 
in its tastes, and an incessant opening of new vistas in 
scientific invention, rallied no longer to old party cries. 

The Government, assured now of the passing of its 
Finance Bill, could not rest here. A Bill for regulating 
the relations between the two Houses of Parliament must 
follow, if the Ministry was to hold its supporters together. 
But an event intervened which caused this measure to 
belong to a new era rather than to the one with which 
these volumes deal. 

When King Edward went abroad, for his usual spring visit 
to Biarritz, it was known that he was not in good health. 
Indeed, he had not been as well as usual when he paid that 
visit in 1909 ; and the year had been an anxious one for 
him. During the later stages of the Finance Bill, when the 
intentions of the House of Lords had been made clear, he 
had taken the unusual step of receiving in audience Lord 
Lansdowne and Mr Balf our ; and the nation had thus known 
that the King was giving more than a formal attention 
to the course of politics. On his return from Biarritz, in 
1910, it was at first announced that he was the better for 
the change. But early in May his condition again gave 
rise to anxiety. The end came quickly. On the morning 
of 6th May a most serious bulletin brought back to the 
gates of Buckingham Palace the same sort of quiet, 
troubled crowd that had kept watch there in June 1902. 

334 THE PEOPLE'S BUDGET [1909-1910 

In the evening the physicians had to state that the King's 
condition was critical, and after that the people prolonged 
the vigil into the night. At about ten o'clock, on the 
announcement that no further bulletin would be issued, 
the waiting groups dispersed. Only a few remained when, 
shortly after midnight, it became known that the King 
had passed away. He had spent the day sitting up, fully 
dressed, conscious, and quite fearless. But his fits of 
coughing grievously exhausted him ; and during the 
evening his heart ceased to respond to the oxygen which 
had been administered to him since the previous evening. 
King Edward was genuinely mourned. He was a 
popular figure ; he had a deep instinct for the popular 
occasion, while avoiding anything approaching a demo- 
cratic pose. Often as it was possible to see the King on his 
way in and out of town, London did not, as a matter of 
fact, see him in the casual way in which some capitals see 
their sovereigns. He was not to be met riding out simply 
with an equerry, as the German Emperor might be met 
in Berlin, or walking, as King Leopold used to walk in 
Brussels, and King Christian in Copenhagen. No doubt, 
with his keen sense of fitness, King Edward saw that the 
long retirement of Queen Victoria made such ways un- 
suitable. Englishmen would have felt no real ease in 
seeing him thus. But on the other hand, when his colt 
Minoru won the Derby in 1909, he went down with the 
frankest simplicity into the crowd to lead in the winner ; 
and his concern for housing and for hospital work showed 
in surprise visits paid without any formalities to workmen's 
dwellings and hospitals. Moreover, after the remoteness 
of the sovereign at the end of Queen Victoria's reign, 
King Edward's appearances at the theatre of an evening, 
a glimpse of his face through the window of a quiet 
brougham bringing him back from a dinner-party at some 
friend's house, made men feel he was living among them 
in a way they understood. 

1909-1910] THE PEOPLE'S BUDGET 335 

That comprehensibility was largely the secret of his 
influence. He was felt to be a man of the world. At the 
time of his accession there were some people who considered 
that aspect of his character as a drawback. They were 
people who did not comprehend the tradition to which 
King Edward belonged. He himself, belonging to the old 
" high life " perhaps, indeed, the last survivor of it 
fully perceived the changes that had occurred. Up to 
the seventies of the nineteenth century there had existed 
a class of rich, well-born people whose amusements and 
wildnesses took place on a kind of stage, at which the rest 
of the London world gazed. Stories ran current, tales of 
doings at race meetings, card-tables and theatres. Yet 
the gossip was never sniggering or familiar, because the 
difference in the means and the habits of life between those 
who were on that stage and those who were not was clearly 
defined, and was never questioned. But during the 
eighties, with the rise of new wealth and the breaking-down 
of distinctions of birth, that old spectacular world had 
disappeared. Most of its members had fallen into the 
manners of the new sets, and lost their tradition. King 
Edward preserved his. He liked card-playing ; he loved 
horse racing ; he enjoyed the theatre ; he paid visits to 
Paris ; he understood a good dinner. Yet he could draw 
his lines very sharply. His style of betting, his objection 
to high card-play in drawing-rooms, his careful regard 
for Sunday, were not quite comprehensible to the younger 
generations of men about town. These were all natural 
to the men of the sixties, who, if they went far themselves, 
were perfectly clear as to the necessity of maintaining 
observances which should prevent less exalted people from 
upsetting society. Consequently gossip about the King, 
flavoured with the publicity of the old spectacular " high 
life," and therefore genial and almost loyal, came to be 
perceived as different from the gossip, generally vulgar 
and often contemptuous or resentful, which grew up round 

36 THE PEOPLE'S BUDGET [1909-1910 

the modern rich sets, extravagant and idle without being 
exclusive or picturesque. 

King Edward's revival of frequent state appearances, 
royal processions in London and royal visits to other parts 
of his kingdom, did much to strengthen the prestige of 
the Crown. The populace liked the cheerful shows, and 
the Londoner became amusingly keen on recognising the 
familiar figures of the Court. The trading community 
profited by the brisker flow of money in London life. 
Republicanism, of which the England of 1880 had some 
real fear, had first begun to decline when advanced 
Labour leaders were absorbed in the vigorous Trade Union 
movement of the later eighties. King Edward's pleasant 
activities made the sovereign a more human and less 
sentimental figure to the popular imagination than Queen 
Victoria had ever been ; and republicanism in conse- 
quence appeared not so much an objectionable political 
doctrine as a form of rather gratuitous rudeness to an 
English gentleman. 

King Edward's reign was not long ; yet his personality 
may prove to be sufficient to attach his name to a period. 
With his varied interests and pleasures (he was not a great 
reader, and had no need to be, since he could be sure of 
personal touch with the men who knew things and did 
things) he may stand as representing the inclination of 
his time to call in question hard and fast judgments. 
The inclination was not confined to moral distinctions ; it 
dissolved also many conventions of class. It proceeded, 
too, from various motives. The breaking-down of the old 
barriers of society in London originated largely in the 
aristocrat's becoming aware how good a time was to be had 
in houses commanding new resources of wealth ; and in 
the consequent challenging of the tradition that it was 
right to go to certain houses, and visit people who fulfilled 
certain conditions, but wrong to go to others, however 
inviting. Again, the spread of sports and games may be 

1909-1910] THE PEOPLE'S BUDGET 337 

traced to the same spirit. While it was right only for a 
class of more or less favoured persons to spend their money 
or their tune on out-of-door pursuits, it had been snobbery 
on the part of middle-class folk to amuse themselves in the 
same way. But when the traditional distinction had been 
called in question, the ordinary man was free to get all the 
pleasure in exercise he could, without being accused of 
aping his betters. 

It is curiously characteristic of this period that the 
word " respectable " practically ceased to have any weight 
in upper and middle-class life, where of old it had borne 
a moral significance. There still were most excellent 
reasons for doing or not doing various things, but that 
it would or would not be " respectable " to do them 
ceased entirely to be a guidance in conduct. It would 
have been difficult to imagine King Edward governing his 
opinions or actions by such a word, though quite possible 
to imagine Queen Victoria's employing it. King Edward 
had his conventions ; as has been remarked, they appeared 
stringent at tunes to younger men about town. He drew 
lines too at points where he believed harm to others came 
in. It is open to moralists to argue that such lines afford 
small defence when once rigid distinction between good and 
bad has been abandoned. But if not so easy of definition, 
the newer standards appealed to a public in love with 
common-sense as an ideal, and in love, too, with science, 
hygiene, experimental politics, and other such matters 
in which right and wrong were inapplicable epithets. 

King Edward, genial, experienced, but never disillu- 
sioned, may well stand at the head of a period of English 
life enfranchised from strict upbringing, making mistakes, 
spending rather wildly, inclined to be noisy, but on the 
whole demanding reality, and seeking more delicate 
estimations of character than were to be achieved by 
hard and fast rules. 


ABBEY THEATRE (Dublin), the, 
ii. 291 

Aborigines Protection Society, the, 
ii. 245 

Abraham, W., i. 196, 289 

Abu Hamed, i. 149, 433 

Abu Klea battle, i. 150 

Abyssinia, mission to, i. 178 

Acland, Arthur, ii. 247 

Acton, Lord, ii. 168 

Administrative Reform Associa- 
tion, ii. 117 

Adowa, battle of, i. 397 

Aeronautics, i. 117, 392 ; ii. 26, 139, 
326. See also Mechanical Flight 

^Esthetic Movement, the, i. 26, 
189, 227, 367 

Affirmation Bill, the, i. 41, 109 

Afghanistan, war with, i. 16, 34; 
delimitation of the frontier, 156, 
157 ; British relations with, 156, 


Agincourt, H.M.S., i. 21 
Agnostics, the, i. 308 
Agrarian crime, i. 52 
Agricultural Labourers' Union, 

the, ii. 1 6 
Agricultural Rating Bill, the, i. 

387. 393 
Agriculture, i. 67 ; department for, 

108, 236, 247 

Ainsworth, Harrison, i. 92 
Alberta, the royal yacht, ii. 127 
Alcohol, revenue from, i. 331 
Alexandra Club, ii. 19 
Alexandria, riots at, i. 83, 87 ; de- 
monstration by the Powers, 87 ; 
bombarded, 88 
Ali Bey Fehmi, i. 84 
Aliens, ii. 217, 218 
Allison, Mrs, i. 219 
Allotments, i. 176, 311 
Allotments Bill, i. 210, 319 
Allsopps & Sons, S., i. 230, 231, 264 
All Sorts and Conditions of Men, i. 

202, 245 
Althorp Library, i. 310 


Aluminium, i. 236 

Amalgamated Society of Railway 
Servants, ii. 293, 294 

Ambassador, The, ii. 23 

America Cup, the, i. 190, 383 ; 
ii. 22, 23 

America, United States of, rela- 
tions with, i. 67 ; growing immi- 
grant population, 139 ; railway 
rate war, 185 ; at war with 
Spain, 433-435, 439 ; competi- 
tion with, ii. 117 

Anarchists, i. 342, 343 

Ancoats Brotherhood, the, i. 112 

Anderson, Mrs Garrett, 1.26; ii. 3 15 

Anderson, Sir Robert, ii. 142, 215, 

Anglican orders, i. 405 

Anglo-Portuguese Agreement, i. 

Anglo-Russian Agreement, ii. 288 

Anson, Sir William R., ii. 163 

Answers, i. 399 

Antarctic expedition, ii. 325 

Anti-Channel Tunnel Association, 
i. 104 

Anti-Gambling League, i. 355, 422, 


Anti-Slavery Society, i. 125, 130 
Aosta, the Duke of, ii. 128 
Appropriation Bill, the (1899), ii. 


Arabi Pasha, i. 76, 83, 84 ; the 

nature of his movements, 85 ; 

his followers, 86 ; arrests officers, 

87 ; sentenced to death, 98 

Arbitration, compulsory labour, 

ii. 17 

Arbitration tribunal, interna- 
tional, ii. 48 

Arch, Joseph, i. 196, 320 
Archaeology, ii. 116 
Archer, Fred, i. 191 
Ardlamont murder trial, i. 340 
Argentine navy, the, i. 295 
Argyll, the Duke of, i. 53, 266, 308 
Armaments, limitation of, ii. 48 



Armenian massacres, i. 387 
Armitstead, Mr, i. 437 
Army and Navy Stores, i. 186 
Army Bill (1907), ii. 278, 282, 283 
Army contracts, ii. 170 
Army Council, the, ii. 210 
Army Estimates, i. 370, 436 
Army manoeuvres, ii. 222, 223 
Army organisation, ii. 135, 136, 

196, 210, 282 
Army Remount Department, ii. 

170, 196 

Arnold, Matthew, i. 63, 227 
Arrears Bill, i. 126 
Arsenic poisoning, ii, 203 
Art and socialism, i. 63 ; new 

movements in, ii. 224 
Art, " Applied," i. 297, 298 
Artillery, the, rearming of, ii. 


Artisans' Dwellings Act, i. 270 
Arts and Crafts Guild, i. 234 
Asiatic labour, ii. 183, 207, 208 
As<juith, H. H., i. 313, 319, 334 ; 
ii. 31, 147, 151, 197, 248 ; moves 
a vote of no confidence in Lord 
Salisbury's Government, i. 316 ; 
presides over Prison Adminis- 
tration Committee, 411 ; his 
Budget, ii. 272, 284, 285 ; is 
Prime Minister, 303 
Assouan, i. 375 ; ii. 222 
Atbara river, i. 434 ; ii. 15 
Auld Licht Idylls, i. 377 
Austin, H., i. 290 
Australia, i. 204, 331 
Australian Fresh Meat Co., i. 25 
Australian troops at Korti, i. 158 
Austria, Archduke Franz Fer- 
dinand of, ii. 128 
Autonomie Club, i. 343 
Aveling, Edward, i. 180 
Ayr Burghs by-election, ii. 212 
Ayrton, Mrs, ii. 20 

BACCARAT SCANDAL, the, i. 293 
Bacteria, a new theory of, i, 60, 115 
Baden-Powell, Col. R. C. S. (now 

Gen. Sir), ii. 61, 78, 83, 92 
Bahr-el-Ghazal, i. 131 
Baker, Valentine Pasha, i. 128 
Bakerloo and Piccadilly tube, ii. 


Baldwin, Mr, i. 235, 236 
Balfour of Burleigh, Lord, ii. 


Balfour, Arthur J., i. 19 ; ii. 168, 
210, 333 ; a member of the 
" Fourth Party," i. 42 ; criti- 
cism of George's Progress and 
Poverty, 155 ; President of 
the Currency Commission, 188 ; 
Chief Secretary for Ireland, 209 ; 
introduces the Irish Land 
Purchase Bill, 268 ; speaks at 
Manchester on technical educa- 
tion, 328 ; proposes new rules 
for regulating Committee of 
Supply, 387 ; his conduct of the 
business of the House, 396 ; his 
announcement in connection 
with Irish Local Government, 
412 ; his forecast of the session 
of 1899, ii. 30 ; attitude towards 
ecclesiastical legislation, 33 ; 
his leadership, 134 ; his new 
rules of procedure, 153 ; Prime 
Minister, 163 ; his attitude on 
the corn- tax, 184 ; his attitude 
on Protection, 190 ; his relations 
with Mr Chamberlain, 198 ; 
correspondence with the Duke 
of Devonshire, 200 ; his attitude 
to fiscal policy, 225, 233, 234 ; 
his political position, 237-239 ; 
principal achievement of his 
Government, 244 ; resigns, 247 ; 
loses his seat, 251, 253 ; party 
loyalty to him, 266 ; his leader- 
ship of the Opposition, 284 

Balfour, Gerald, i. 289 ; ii. 1 17, 251, 


Balfour, Jabez Spencer, i. 326, 370 
Ballantyne, R. M., i. 360 
Ballooning, i. 60, 189 ; ii. 292 
Baltic, the s.s., ii. 317 
Bancrofts, the, i. 297 
Bankers' Clearing House returns, 

i. 435 
Bank of England, i. 284 ; issue of 

notes, 93, 249, 294 
Bank rate, ii. 273 
Bankruptcy legislation, i. 74, 108, 


Banks, absorption of, i. 163, 264 ; 
increased number of branches, 

Banks, private, ii. 120 

Baring, Sir Evelyn (now Lord 
Cromer), i. 102 ; favours with- 
drawal from the Soudan, 125 ; 
his despatches from Egypt, 157 



Barings, the, i. 222, 283, 284, 294 
Barker and Vedrenne, Messrs, ii. 


Barkston Ash by-election, ii. 246 
Barnard Castle by-election, ii. 192 
Barnardo, Dr, ii. 246 
Barnato, B., i. 369 
Barnett, Canon and Mrs, i. 219 
Barrie, J. M., i. 307, 341, 377 
Barttelot, Major, i. 241, 262, 281 
Bass, Ratclirt & Co., i. 230-232 
Beaconsfield, Lord, Government 
of, i. 16 ; his Endymion, 17 ; his 
manifesto of 1880, 37 ; resigna- 
tion, 40 ; failure of health, 68 ; 
his trump Conservative card, 


Beale, Miss Dorothea, ii. 277 
Beard, Mr, ii. 27 
Beardsley, Aubrey, i. 344 
Beaumont, Barber, i. 202 
Bechuanaland, i. 385 
Beck, Adolf, ii. 216 
Beckwith, Miss. i. 142 
Bedford, the Duke of, i. 141 
Bedford Park, i. 63 
Beerbohm, Max, ii. 292 
Beer and Wine Trade Defence 

League, ii. 193 
Beer, arsenic in, ii. 121, 138, 203 ; 

duty, i. 46, 270, 350 
Beesly, Professor, i. 137 
Beit, Alfred, i. 389, 420 
Belgians, the, King of, i. 124, 211 ; 

ii. 128, 245, 274 
Belgium, relations with, i. 381 
Bellamy, Mr, i. 273 
Belle oj New York, The, ii. 23 
Belloc, Hilaire, ii. 292 
Bells, The, i. 297 
Belmont, ii. 67, 68 
Belper, Lord, i. 356 
Bennett, Arnold, ii. 291 
Benson, A. C., ii. 292 
Benson, Archbishop, i. 244, 405 
Berber, i. 128, 130, 434 
Berbera, i. 131 
Beresford, Lord Charles, i. 239 ; ii. 


Bergendal, ii. 96 
Besant, Mrs Annie, i. 221 
Besant, Sir Walter, i. 202, 219, 245, 

Bessborough Commission, the, i. 

Bethlehem, ii. 95 

" Betterment," the principle of, 
i. 266, 337, 356 

Betting, increase of, i, 278, 422 

Bible, the, completion of the Re- 
vised Version, i. 166 

Biblical inspiration, controversy 
on, i. 308 

Bicycles, " Safety," i. 279, 306. 
See also Cycling 

Biggar, J. C., i. 47, 52, 53, 72, 267 

Bigham, John (now Lord Mersey), 
i. 390 

Bimetallism, i. 30, 187, 248, 318 

Birmingham, expansion of its 
resources, i. 28 ; Corporation 
Stock, 55, 233 ; Mason College, 
65 ; Sir Stafford Northcote 
refused a hearing, 137 ; unem- 
ployment in, 153 ; Liberal Two 
Thousand, 181 ; Radicals of, 183; 
Mr Chamberlain holds a meet- 
ing at, 196 ; Union, 273 ; water 
supply, 309, 310 ; university, 
ii. 136 ; Mr Chamberlain's pro- 
nouncement in, 1905, 236 ; 
Unionism, 266 

Birrell, Augustine, ii. 282 

Bisley. i. 239 

Bismarck, i. 275 

Black, Miss Clementina, i. 225 

Blackley, Canon, i. 143 

Blackpool, electrical traction at, 
i. 146, 310 

Blackwall tunnel, i. 415 

Bleriot, M., ii. 326 

Bloemfontein, Conference at, ii. 
49, 58 ; occupation of. 83 ; con- 
centration camp, 144 

" Bloody Sunday," i. 220 

Blue Ribbon Army, the, i. no 

Blunt, Wilfred, i. 85, 86, 216 

Board of Trade, the, Labour 
Department, i. 327 ; its inquiry 
into Company Law, 358 ; inter- 
vention in the Penrhyn quarry 
dispute, 409 ; Labour report for 
1897, 425 ; demand for efficiency 
in, ii. 118 ; returns, 266, 267 

Board schools, accommodation in, 
1.27; Higher Grade, 1.427; ii. 121 

Boer commanders, the, ii. 97 

Boers, the, their treatment of the 
gold industry, i. 322 ; attitude 
towards the British, 356, 357, 
382, 385 ; their administrative 
system, ii. 55 ; their armaments 



Boers continued 

and troops, 64; fighting qualities, 
65 ; ultimatum from, 65, 66 ; 
strength in the field, 65 ; marks- 
manship, 68 ; their position in 
May 1900, 88 ; driven from 
Kronstadt, 92 ; carry on 
guerilla war, 97 ; hope for inter- 
vention, 100 ; concentration 
camps, 144, 145 ; acknowledge 
themselves subjects of King 
Edward, 159 ; refuse to take 
part in pubfic life, 240 
Boers, committee of, in the Trans- 
vaal, i. 23, 44 

Boer leaders' consultation with 
Mr Chamberlain and Lord 
Kitchener, ii. 165 
Boer prisoners, ii. 177 
Bohn, H. G., i. 189 
Bolton, Mr, i. 289 
Booth, Charles, i. 304 ; ii 197 
Booth, " General," i. 281, 303 
Borstal, ii. 143 
Boshof, ii. 92 

Botha, Louis, ii. 95, 156, 164 
Boulanger, General, {.251 
Bourdin, the Frenchman, i. 342, 343 
Bournemouth, riot at. i. 137 
Bourneville, ii, 231 
Bowen, Lord Justice, i. 329 
" Boxers," the, ii. 113, 114 
Boycott, Captain, i. 52 
" Boycotting," i. 74 
Braddon, Miss, i. 296 
Bradlaugh, Charles, i. 41, 43, 137 
Brady, the " Invincible," i. 105 
Bramwell, Sir Frederick, ii. 112 
Bramwell, Lord, i. 155 
Brennan arrested, {.53 
Breweries, i. 230 ; ii. 214 
" Bridge," popularity of, ii. 19 
Bright, John, i. 7$, 143, 178 ; 
resigns office, 89 ; declares 
against the Home Rule Bill, 
183 ; death, 247 

Brighton, election of 1905, ii. 238 
Bristol, adopts electricity for street 
lighting, i. 58 ; conference of 
women workers, 318 
British Academy, the, ii. 168 
British Association, the, i. 275 
British South Africa Co., the, i. 
322,356,384 ; Select Committee 
on, 390, 419, 420 
Broad Church Party, the, i. 226 

Broadhurst, Henry, i. 196, 298, 


Brodrick, St John (now Viscount 
Middleton), ii. 211; Secretary for 
War, 117; his appointments, 
136 his administration, 170, 
171, 182 ; Secretary for India, 
201 ; loses his seat, 253 
Brooklands Agreement, the, i. 326 
Browne, Dr Crichton, i. 146 
Brown, Ford Madox, i. 344 
Browning, Robert, i. 17 ; death, 


Brunner & Mond, i. 372 
Bryant, Mrs Sophie, i. 351 
Bryce, James, i. 316 ; ii. 168, 248, 

Buckingham Palace Gardens, 

review in, ii. 164 
Buckley, Mr Justice, ii. 180 
Budget, the, i. 215, 234, 242, 331, 
342, 350; ii. 133, 154, 155, 183, 
215, 272, 308, 320-323 
Buller, Sir Redvers, i. 208 ; ii. 65, 
67. 74. 78, 79, 81, 96, 103, 136 
Burdett-Coutts, Baroness, i. 67 ; 

ii. 277 

Burdett-Coutts, W. L. A. B., ii. 87 
Burger, Schalk, ii. 157 
Burial Act, the, i. 20, 46 
Burke, Mr, murdered, i. 81 
Burma, annexation of, i. 178 ; 

ruby mines, 222 
Burnaby, Colonel, i. 150 
Burne-Jones, E. C., i. 344 
Burns, John, i. 154-156, 221, 
245. 253. 274, 424 ; ii. 248 ; 
tried for sedition, i. 179 ; his 
manifesto to the dock strikers, 
257, 258 ; his activity, 273 ; 
returned for Battersea, 316 ; 
declines to serve on the Poor Law 
Commission, 320 ; speaks during 
the debate on the Employers 
Liability Act, 339 ; his seat in 
*&95> 372 ; defends workmen 
from charges brought against 
them, ii. 166 ; President of the 
Local Government Board, 249 ; 
administrative powers, 271 ; his 
Town Planning Bill, 309 ; un- 
popularity with the Labour 
Members, 318 
Burt, Thomas, i. 196, 289 
Burton, Decimus, i. 62 
Burton, Sir Richard, i. 276 



Bury, J. B., ii. 168 

Butcher, S. G., ii. 168 

Butler. Mr, constructs a motor 

tricycle, i. 166 
Butt, Isaac, his leadership of the 

Irish party, i. 47 ; his federal 

proposals, 50, 51 
Buxton, E. North, i. 397 
Buxton, Sydney, i. 256-258, 390, 


Buxtons, the, i. 20 
By-elections, ii. 192, 212, 225, 

238, 246 
Bywater, Ingram, ii. 168 

CABINET, the, power of, ii. 105 ; 
the Cabinet of 1900, 117 

Cabinet ministers holding direc- 
torships, i. 395 

Cabmen, strike of , in London, i. 354 

Cadbury, Messrs., ii. 231 

Catfrey, the " Invincible," i. 105 

Caillard, Sir Vincent, ii. 207 

Caine, W. S., i. 397 

Caledonian Railway, the, strike 
on, i. 119 

Cambridge, the Duke of, ii. 211 

Cambridge eight, the, ii. 22 ; the 
eleven, i. 399 

Campbell-Bannerman, Sir Henry, 
i. 390, 420 ; ii. 31, 147, 151, 
197, 212, 247 ; his ministry, 
248 ; his official status as 
Premier, 250 ; his adherence to 
Home Rule, 260 ; ill-health, 
278 ; death, 302, 303 ; resigna- 
tion, 303. 

Campbell, Mrs Patrick, i. 341 

Camperdown, H.M.S., i. 332 

Canada offers a preferential tariff, 
i. 418 

Canary, The, ii. 23 

Canterbury, the Archbishop (Ben- 
son) of, i. 397, 405 

Canterbury, the Archbishop of 
(Davidson), ii. 308 

Cape Colony, i. 419 

Cardiff, i. 194, 287 

Carey, James, i 105, 106 

Carlisle, Lord, ii. 224 

Carlyle, Thomas, i. 63 

Carnarvon, Lord, i. 160 

Carnegie, Andrew, i. 27 ; ii. 18, 168 

Carter, Canon, ii. 141 

Cartoons, political, ii. 254 

Casement, Consul, ii. 244, 245 

Cassel, Sir Edward, ii. 169 
Caste, i. 297 
Cattle, imported, i. 396 
Cavendish, Lady Frederick, i. 351 
Cavendish, Lord Frederick, i. 81 
Celibate clergy, i. 244 
Central Criminal Court, ii. 279 
Central London Railway, ii. 294 
Cervera, Admiral, i. 435, 439 
Cetewayo, King, i. 94 
Chamberlain, Joseph, fear of him 
as a demagogue, i. 39, 205 ; his 
organising schemes, 39 ; deter- 
mination, 40 ; mistrust of, 77, 
78 ; ii. 10 ; sees mistakes of trade 
unions, i. 143 ; views on 
nationalisation of the land, 
155 ; dislike of the Radicals to 
his speeches, 158 ; advocates 
local self-government for Ire- 
land, 161 ; his speeches outlining 
the Radical programme, 178 ; 
resigns, 179 ; influence with the 
Liberal Two Thousand, 181 ; 
attitude to the Land Purchase 
Bill, 182 ; his political solitude, 
191 ; joins the Liberal 
Unionist Association, 193 ; 
travels abroad, 192 ; attends a 
meeting of Liberals at Sir Wm. 
Harcourt's house, 196 ; serves 
under Lord Salisbury, 218 ; 
out of influence, 218 ; his 
educational views, 228 ; his 
position amongst Conservatives, 
249, 371 ; his quarrel with Lord 
Randolph Churchill, 250 ; 
schemes connected with his 
name, 298, 299 ; advocates 
old age pensions, 304, 310, 311; 
responsiveness to democratic 
demands, 315 ; on the Poor 
Law Commission, 320, 321 ; 
attack on the Local Veto Bill of 
1893, 329 ; his Radicalism, 363, 
364, 436 ; Colonial Secretary, 
378 ; repudiates Dr Jameson, 
384 ; his despatch to Kruger, 
388, 389 ; serves on Select 
Committee on S. Africa, 390 ; 
attitude towards the Education 
Bill of 1896, 395 ; his adminis- 
tration of the Colonial Office, 
417 ; views upon our trade, ii. 
14 ; publication of his des- 
patches to Sir A. Milner, 30 ; 



Chamberlain, Joseph continued 
supports the Rand's demand 
for municipal government, 53 ; 
accepts the Uitlanders' petition 
to the Queen, 56 ; the tone of 
his despatches, 57 ; proposes to 
President Kruger a joint com- 
mission, 59 ; defence of the 
Government's S. African policy, 
66 ; makes an unpopular sug- 
gestion, 70, 71 ; his accusation 
against the Liberals, 99 ; his 
relations with his opponents 
and the colonies, 100, 101 ; his 
part in the dissolution of 1900, 
105 ; his views as to the position 
of Liberal Unionism, 106, 107 ; 
his attacks on the Front Oppo- 
sition Bench, 151 ; suggests 
an Imperial Zollverein, 155 ; 
receives the freedom of the 
City of London, 156, .157; 
meets the Boer leaders, 164, 165 ; 
his reference to Germany, 169, 
170 ; visits South Africa, 178 ; 
at Johannesburg, 180 ; his work 
at the Colonial Office, 186, 187 ; 
speaks at Birmingham on 
Protection, 189 ; his energetic 
speech-making, 197 ; Liberal 
attacks on him, 198 ; his rela- 
tions with Mr Balfour, 198 ; 
resigns, 199 ; his proposed tariff, 
201 ; campaign on behalf of Pro- 
tection, 201, 202, 206, 207 ; his 
attitude on Chinese labour, 208 ; 
abroad, 212 ; speaks at Welbeck 
on agriculture. 225 ; welcomes 
Mr Bal'our's declaration upon 
Protection, 226, 235 ; action with 
regard to the Liberal Unionist 
Association, 229 ; his pronounce- 
ment at Birmingham in 1905, 
236 ; presses for a dissolution, 
246 ; his adherence to tariff 
reform, 266 ; has a stroke, 329 
Chamberlain, Arthur, ii. 175 
Chamberlain, Austen, made 
Postmaster-General, ii. 163 ; 
Chancellor of the Exchequer, 
20 1 ; increases the income-tax, 

Chamber of Notables, an 

Egyptian, i. 85 

Champion tried for sedition, i. 179 
Channel Tunnel, a, i, 104 

Chantrey Bequest, the, i. 429 ; 
ii. 224 

Chaplin, Henry, i. 247 ; ii. 35, 184, 
254, 281, 282, 332 

Charing Cross and Hampstead 
tube, the, ii. 294 

Charles I., i. 297 

Cheque Bank, the, i. 23 

Cheltenham Ladies' College, ii. 277 

Cherif Pasha, i. 85, 125 

Cheshire Salt Trust, i. 232 

Chesterfield, Lord Rosebery's 
speech at, ii. 147, 148, 150 

Chievley, ii. 67 

Childers, Mr, i. 233, 394 

Children of Gibeon, i. 219 

Chimborazo, the s.s., i. 21 

China, i. 430 ; ii. 113 

Chinese labour, ii. 183, 238, 239, 
254, 261 

Cholera, outbreak of, i. 322, 323 

Chorlton Board of Guardians, 
i. 401 

Christian Social Union, i. 246 

Church, Dean, i. 65, 244 

Church Army, the, i. 167 

Church Congress of 1900, ii. 109 

Church of England, ii. 140, 141 ; 
ritualistic practices in, i. 20, 
167 ; work of, 1 1 1 ; position of, 
167, 225 ; disestablishment of, 
169 ; controversy with the 
Agnostics, 308 

Churchill, Lord Randolph, i. 363 ; 
his power of drawing Mr Glad- 
stone, i. 40 ; a member of the 
" Fourth Party," 42 ; supports 
" Fair Trade, 57 ; his use of 
the dislike to closure of debate, 
90 ; attitude to the franchise 
question, 109 ; his reputation, 
160 ; fair words to Ireland, 161 ; 
incites Ulster to rebellion, 182 ; 
Chancellor of the Exchequer, 
192 ; resigns, 196, 203 ; his suc- 
cessor in the leadership of the 
House, 210 ; out of influence, 
218 ; activity in raising the ques- 
tion of the efficiency of the navy, 
239 ; quarrels with Mr Chamber- 
lain, 250 ; attacks the Conserva- 
tive Government, 268 ; leaves 
for South Africa, 303 ; his 
pronouncement on labour, 311 ; 
his political position, 312 ; views 
on Home Rule, 330 ; on the 



Churchill, Lord Randolph contd. 
licensing question, 351 ; death, 


Churchill, Winston, ii. 182 ; joins 
the Liberals, 229 ; opposes pre- 
ferential duties, 235 ; President 
of the Board of Trade, 304 
Church Schools Emergency 

League, i. 224 
Cigarettes first used on a large 

scale, i. 215 
City and Guilds of London 

Institute, i. 62, 65, 202 
City and South London tube, ii. 294 
City Imperial Volunteers, ii. 101 
Civil Service Supply Association, 

i. 186 

Clan-na-Gael, the.'i. 48, 50, 104, 105 
Clanricarde estate, the, i. 249 
Clarence, the Duke of, i. 307 
Clarke, Sir Edward, ii. 238 
Clarke, Sir George Sydenham, ii. 


Clements, General, ii. 95 
Clergy, the, rating of, ii. 34 
Cleveland, President, i. 382 
Clifford, Dr, ii. 153 
Clyde, the, i. 380, 423 
Coal, Conciliation Board, i. 355 ; 
duty, ii. 134 ; price of, i. 333 ; 
Trust, i. 334 

Coal Consumers' League, the, ii. 307 
Coalition, Ministerial, i. 247, 250 
Coal mines, strike in, i. 263, 312, 

313. 338, 435 

Cobden Club, i. 113 ; ii. 155 
Cobra, H.M.S., ii. 140 
Cockerton judgment, the, ii. 121, 


Cody, Colonel, i. 215 
Cody, S. F., ii. 297, 299 
Coercion Acts, i. 53, 72, 73, 160, 

175, 208, 209, 313 
Coffee-house movement, the, i. 64 
Coinage, the, i. 120 
Coldbath Fields prison site, i. 163 
Colenso, ii 81 
Collett, Miss, i 374 
Colley, Sir George, i. 71 
Collings, Jesse, i. 155, 175, 289 
Collins, Lottie, i. 305 
Collins, Wilkie, i. 296 
Colonial and Indian Exhibition, 

i. 190 
Colonial Conference, 1. 190, 204, 

417, 418 ; ii. 225, 227 

Colonial Federation, {.418 
Colonial Office, the, ii. 30 
Colonial preference, ii. 226 
Colvin, Sir Auckland, i. 85 
Commander-in-Chief, office of, 

i. 371 ; ii. 210 
Commerce, Associated Chambers 

of, i. 228, 335 

Committee of Supply, i. 387, 388 
Commonweal, The, i. 317 
Commons. See House of 
Communion, Holy, Conference on, 

ii. no 

Companies Bill, a, i. 391 ; ii. 107 
Company Law, i. 358 ; ii. 14 
Compensation for Disturbance 

Bill, i. 46, 51, 52 
Compton, Lord Alwyne, i. 65 
Concentration camps (Boer), ii. 

144. 145 

Conciliation boards, i. 339, 404 
Conciliation Committee, the, ii. 

97, 98, 143 
Congested Districts Board, i. 268, 

282, 413 

Congo, the, i. 124 ; ii. 244 
Congo Free State, the, i. 381, 

421 ; ii. 245 
Congo Reform Association, ii. 245, 

Connaught, the Duke of, ii. 127, 

128, 136, 2ii 
Conservative Ministry, the, i. 291 

Conservative organisations, i. 250, 

Conservatives, position in 1884. 

i. 153 ; meetings with Liberal 

Unionists, 206, 217,; advocate 

old age pensions, 310 ; their 

fear of Mr Gladstone, 324; 

their majority, ii. 9 ; reaction 

against, 86 
Consolidated Municipal Stock, i. 

Consols, price of, i. 30, 284. 391 ; 

conversion of, 233 ; fall in, 

ii. 215, 323 
Constantinople, conference of 

Powers at, i. 87 
Constitutional Club, i. 109 
Convention of London, the, i. 419 
Cook, Dr, ii. 325, 326 
Co-operative movement, the, i. 

156, 404 ; ii. 28 
Co-operative societies, i. 31 



Copper market, the, i. 185 
Corelli, Miss Marie, i. 377 
Corfe Castle Corporation, i. 91 
Corn-tax, the, ii. 184 
Corporation Debenture Stock, i. 


Corrupt Practices Acts, i. 89 
Corsican Brothers, The, i. 297 
Cotton growing, ii. 217 
Cotton industry, the, i, 31, 57; 

sttikesin, 119, 139, 318, 325, 326 
Cotton operatives trades unions, 

i- 317 

Cotton spinners, ii. 273, 274 

County councils, i. 244 

County Franchise Bill, i. 144, 147 

County government, i. 108, 169, 

Court etiquette, a revolt against, 
ii. 278 

Courtney, L., i. 147, 286, 420 ; at- 
titude toward the Eight Hours' 
Movement, 274 ; on the La- 
bour Commission, 289 ; protests 
against the Boer War, ii. 62 

Court Theatre, ii. 290 

Covent Garden, i. 141 

Cowie, Dean, i. 65 

Cowper, Lord, i. 53, 72, 75, 81 

Cowper-Temple Agreement, the, 
i. 395 ; ii. 153 

Cranbrook, Lord, i. 200 

Creighton, Bishop, ii. 141 

Cremation, i. 101 

Cremer, W. R., i. 196 

Crespigny, Sir Claude de, i. 118 

Cresswell, Mr, ii. 177 

Crete, excavation in, ii. 116 

Crewe, Lord, ii. 304 

Cricket, ii. 21 

Crimes Acts, i. 73, 82, 99, 205, 206 

Criminal Appeal Bill, ii. 282 

Criminal Appeal Court, i. 252 ; 
ii. 217, 309 

Cripps, Alfred, i. 390 

Crofter movement, the, i. 172, 221 

Cromer, Lord, i. 86 ; ii. 286. See 
also Baring 

Cronje, General, ii. 69, 72, 80, 81, 


Crooks, Will, ii. 192 
Cross, Lord, i. 222 
Cruelty to Children's Act, i. 248 
Crystal Palace.the, electric railway 

at, i. 59 
Cuba, i. 433, 438 

Cumming, Sir W. Gordon, i. 293 
Cunard Line, the, ii. 173 
Curie, Professor, ii. 194 
Curley, the " Invincible," i. 105 
Currency Commission, the, i. 188, 

Curzon, George (Lord Curzon of 

Kedleston), created Viceroy of 

India, i. 442 ; ii. 241 
Cust, Dean, i. 66 
Customs tariff, ii. 226, 259 
Customs Union, a, i. 418 
Cycling, i, 19, 143, 377, 378, 391, 

439 ; ii. 21, 24 
Cyclists' Touring Club, i. 142 

Daily Chronicle, The, ii. 88 
Daily Mail, The, i. 399 ; ii. 23 
Daily Mirror, The, ii. 188 
Daily News, The, ii. 88 
Daimler, Gotlieb, i. 166 
Dalai Lama, the, ii. 219 
Dale, David, i. 259 
Dale, Dr, i. 20, 65, 228 
Darfur, i. 122, 131, 397 
Darlington ironworkers, strike of, 

i. 119 

Darwin, Charles, i. 92, 225 
Davenport, Bromley, ii. 210 
Davidson, John, i. 240 
Davitt, Michael, i. 48, 49 ,50, 74 
Dayton (Ohio), ii. 297 
Death Duties, i. 332, 342, 350 ; 

ii. 230 

D<!bats, Les, ii. 49 
De Beers Mining Co., i. 222, 233 
Defence Committee, ii. 210 
De Kaap Goldfields. i. 93 
Delaney, the " Invincible," i. 105 
Delarey, Commandant, ii. 156, 

157. I<5 4 

Delcass6, M., ii. 222, 243 
De Morgan, William, ii. 291 
Denmark, the King of, i. 211 ; the 

Crown Prince of, ii. 128, 242 
Derby, Lord, i. 178, 289 
De Rougemont, ii. 24 
Devonshire, the Duke of. See 


Dewar, Professor, ii. 168 
De Wet, General, ii, 94, 95, 96, 144, 

156, 157, 164 
Dewy, Admiral, i. 435 
Diamond Hill, ii. 95 
Dicey, Professor, ii. 168 
Dickinson, W. H., ii. 280, 281 



Dilke, Sir Charles, i. 155, 397, 441 ; 
ii. 248 ; withdraws from Parlia- 
ment, i. 192 ; his opinion of Sir 
H. Campbell-Bannerman's claim 
to the leadership of the Liberals, 
ii. 31 ; his amendment to the 
Consolidated Fund Bill of 1903, 


Dillon, John, i, 53, 216 ; ii. 12 
Dillon, Lord, ii. 168 
Directorships held by Cabinet 

ministers, i. 395 
Disestablishment, i. 169, 299 
Distribution, means of, i. 213 
Dock labourers, strike of, i. 252- 

259, 275 ; Union, ii. 216 
Dock, Wharf and Riverside 

Labourers' Union, i. 258 
Dodo, i. 344 

Dogs, muzzling of, i. 396, 428, 429 
Dolly Dialogues, The, i. 344 
Dongola, i. 131, 133, 157, 398, 433 
Donoughmore, Lord, i. 49 ; ii. 210 
Doornkop, ii. 93 

Dorando, the Italian runner, ii. 310 
Douglas, General, ii. 210 
Dove, Miss, ii. 315 
Dowie, Dr, ii. 189 
Dowson, Mrs M. E., i. 180 
Drakensberg, the, ii. 61 
Drama, the, ii. 113 
Draper's Company, the, i. 202 
Dreadnought, H.M.S., ii. 269, 270, 

Dreyfus, Captain Alfred, i. 431, 

432, 442 ; ii. 47 
Driefontein, ii. 83 
Druce, T. C., ii. 295, 296 
Dritmmond Castle, the s.s., i. 410 
Drummond-Wolff , Sir Henry, i. 42 
Dublin, Convention at, ii. 283 ; 

Abbey Theatre, 291 ; the Lord 

Mayor of, i. 216 
Dudley, Lord, ii. 163 
Dufferin, Lord, i. 98 ; ii. 132 
Dunwich municipality, i. 91 
Duma, the (Russian), ii. 288 
Du Maurier, George, i. 405 
Duncan, Miss Isidora, ii. 113 
Dundonald, Lord, ii. 81 
Dunlop Pneumatic Tyre Co., i. 392 
Dunraven, Lord, i. 224, 274, 286 ; 

ii. 182, 228, 237 
Durban Railway, the, ii. 96 
Durham, University, i. 65 ; strike 

in the coalfields, 313 

Dyer trial, the, i. 401 

Dyke, Sir W. Hart, i. 390 ; ii. 254, 


Dynamite explosions, i. 104-106, 
133, 134, 159, 160 

EARLE, General, i. 149 

Earthquake in England, an, i. 133 

Ecclesiastical controversies, i. 244; 
ii. 32, 33 

Economics, School of, ii. 27, 136 

Ecroyd, Mr, i. 171 

Edge, Sir John, ii. 171 

Edinburgh, creation of " Faggot 
votes " in, i 38, 39 

Edison, i. 21, 95 

Education, advances in, i. 26, 27, 
65, 144, 145 ; reform of, 228 ; 
movement for free education, 
243, 248 ; the Duke of Devon- 
shire on, 352 ; German influence 
on, 352 ; Royal Commission on, 
i. 228 

Education Bills, i. 387, 394, 410, 
427,; ii. 33, 134, 135, 150, 152, 
173, 181, 261, 262, 282 

Edward VII., King, proclaimed, 
ii. 124 ; his conception of a 
Court, 129 ; opens Parliament in 
state, 129 ; illness, 149 ; corona- 
tion, 160 et seq. ; operated on, 
161 ; at Cowes, 162 ; crowned at 
Westminster, 163 ; his interest 
in municipal housing, 195 ; his 
fondness for the French, 221 ; 
visits the German Emperor at 
Kiel, 222 ; in the Mediterranean, 
243 ; gives official status to the 
office of Prime Minister, 250 ; 
opens the new Central Criminal 
Court, 279 ; commends the 
Territorial force to the Lords 
Lieutenant, 284 ; his popularity 
in Paris, 287 ; establishes the 
Order of Merit, 291 (note) ; his 
friendship with the King 
(Carlos) of Portugal, 299 ; goes 
to Biarritz, 302, 333 ; receives 
a state visit from the President 
of the French Republic, 310 ; 
meets the Tsar of Russia at 
Reval, 324 ; illness, 333 ; death, 
334 ; popularity, 334 ; his tastes, 
335. 337 I his revival of state 
appearances, 336 
Edwards, Passmore, ii. 27, 142 



Egan, Patrick, i. 53 
Egerton of Tatton, Lord, i. 356 
Egypt, disaffection of native 
troops, i. 76 ; French and English 
control, 76 ; International Com- 
mission of Liquidation, 83 ; the 
National party in, 85, 86 ; 
sudden reversal of French policy 
in, 86 ; suggested Turkish inter- 
vention, 86 ; end of the Dual 
Control, 89, 102 ; finance of, 98 ; 
the stronghold of slavery, 98 ; 
cholera in, 1 14, 141 ; Colonels 
Stewart and Gordon leave for, 
124, 125 ; contemplated evacua- 
tion of, 301 ; political status in, 
ii. 222 ; Nationalists of, 286 
Eiffel Tower, the, ii. 139 
Eight hours' movement, i. 274 
Elandslaagte, ii. 68 
Electrical inventions, i. 21 ; pro- 
gress of, 58 -60, 95, 121, 146, 189, 
236, 295 

Electric light companies, i. 242 
Electric Lighting Bill, the, i. 95, 


Electric locomotives, i. 165 
Electric tramways, i. 310. 358, 

414, 424 

Elgin, Lord, ii. 171, 248, 304 
Elliot, the Hon. Arthur, ii. 199, 

252. 253 

Ellis, John, i. 390, 420 
Ellis, Robinson, ii. 168 
El Teb, battle of. i, 128 
Emigration, state-aided, i. 199 
Emin Pasha, i. 131, 197, 204, 241, 

261, 262, 281 
Employers' Liability Acts, i. 46, 

89, 238, 269, 338, 347 
Empress Club, ii. 19 
Encyclopedia Britannica, the, ii. 


Endymion, i. 17 
Engineers, strike of, i. 423 
England, militant Tory spirits in, 

i. 139 

English Channel, crossed by aero- 
nauts, i. 118 ; swum by Webb, 

English Church Union, the, ii. 32 

Enslin, ii. 68 

" Entente Cordiale," the, ii 242, 
243, 287, 310 

Equatoria, i. 131 

Errington, George, i. 106, 107 

Esher, Lord, il. 171, 210 
Essays and Reviews, i. 405 
Esther Waters, i. 344 
Estimates Committee, i. 238, 239 
Evangelical Free Churches, ii. 153 
Evangelical party, the, i. 20, 167, 

Evans, Arthur (now Sir), ii. 116. 


Evicted Tenants' Bill, i. 355 
Excise procedure, i. 90 
Exeter Hall, i, 20 

FABIAN SOCIETY, the, i. 156 ; 

manifesto of, 335 ; influence of, 

ii. 39, 40 

Factory Acts, the, i. 292, 365 
Factory Laws, Lord Shaftesbury's 

advocacy of, i, 164 
Fagan, the " Invincible," i. 105 
" Faggot votes," i. 38, 39 
Fair Trade movement, the, i. 57, 

155, 171, 198, 218 ; ii. 226, 329 
Falstaff Club, i. 66 
Farman, M., ii. 297-299, 326 
Farnham licensing cases, the, ii. 

175. 214 

Farrar, Dean, ii. 223 
Farrar, Sir George, ii. 207 
Farrer, Mr, i. 391 
Fairer, Sir Thomas (afterwards 

Lord),i. 245, 266 
Farwell, Mr Justice, ii. 119 
Fashoda, i. 397, 441, 442 ; ii. 18 
Fawcett, Henry, i. 119 
Featherstone riots, the, i. 353 
Fellowes, Ailwyn, ii. 254 
Fels, Joseph, ii. 232 
Fenian brotherhoods, i. 105 
Fenianism, i. 48, 79 
Fenwick, Mr, i. 196 
Fergusson, Sir James, ii. 278 
Finance Bill (1909), the, ii. 320, 

322, 323, 333 

Financial relations between Great 
Britain and Ireland, Royal Com- 
mission on, i. 356, 394 
Finsbury Technical College, i. 202 
Firket, i. 398 

First Offenders' Bill, i. 209 
Fisher, Sir John (now Lord), ii. 210, 


Fisheries Exhibition, the, i. 117 
Fitzharris, the " Invincible," i. 105 
Flood v. Jackson, i. 404 



Florida, the s.s., ii. 317 

Florodora, ii. 23 

Football, i. 61 

Foreigners, trade in the hands of, 

ii. 14 

Foreign trade, our, ii. 14 
Forster, Arnold, ii. 201, 210 
Forster, W. E., i. 53, 72, 73, 80, 

81, 179 

Fortnightly Review, The, ii. TIO 
Forwood, Sir W. B., i. 29, 115 
Fountain pen, the, i. 96 
"Fourth Party," the, i. 77, 78, 79 
Fowler, Ellen Thorneycroft, ii. 25 
Fowler, Sir Henry, ii. 247 ; on the 
Labour Commission, i. 289 ; in 
Mr Gladstone's ministry, 316 ; 
his statement on Home Rule, 
ii. 12 

Fox, Sir Douglas, i. 392 
France, our relations with, i. 102- 
104, 223, 398, 409, 410 ; ii. 
46-48, 221, 242, 243, 324 ; state 
in 1898, i. 431 ; motor industry 
in, 439 ; state visit of the 
President to King Edward, ii. 

Franchise, the, i. 37, 109, 133-136 ; 

Tory opposition to, 171 
Free Churches, the, i. 308 ; ii 109, 


Free libraries, i. 27 
Freeman's Journal, The, i. 302 
Freethinker, The, i. 100 
Free Trade controversy, the, ii. 

189-191, 201, 202, 225, 232, 

266, 328 

Free Trade Union, the, ii. 191, 307 
Freiheit, The, i. 100 
French Diamond Mining Com- 
pany, the, i. 222 
French fleet, the, ii. 243 
French, General (now Sir John), 

ii. 80, 95, 162 
French policy, i. 86, 89 
French tariff, i. 57 
Frere, Sir Bartle, i. 44, 45 
Freycinet, M. de, i. 86 
Friendly societies, i. 143 
Fuel, liquid, i. 165 
Fulham Palace, conference at, ii. 

Furniture, ii. 183, 186 

Galatea, the, i. 100, 191 
Galsworthy, John, ii. 290 

Gambetta, M., i. 86 

Gambling, i. 214 

Garden City movement, the, ii. 
231, 232, 295 

Gardiner, Samuel Rawson, ii. 168 

Garfield, President, i. 68 

Gas Companies, i 59 

Gatacre, General, ii. 67, 85 

Gay Lord Quex, The, ii. 23 

General election (of 1880), i. 33 ; 
(of 1906), ii. 251 ; (of 1910), 331 

" General Strike," the, ii. 16 

Gentle A rt oj Making Enemies, The, 
i. 306 

George, Henry, i. 143, 155 

George, Lloyd, i. 350 ; ii. 33, 35, 98, 
146, 174, 211, 212, 248, 294; 
President of the Board of Trade, 
249 ; his proposed census of 
production, 267 ; Chancellor 
of the Exchequer, 303 ; sub- 
poenaed, 314 ; supports his 
Budget at Limehouse, 323 

German Atlantic shipping lines, 
the, ii. 172 

German Crown Prince, the, i. 211 ; 
ii. 169 

German Emperor, the, i. 223 ; 
ii. 70, 103, 128, 169, 170, 243 

German Empire, the, i. 139 

German fleet, the, ii. 222 

German Navy Law, the, ii. 305 

Germany, an agreement with, 
i. 275 ; our relations with, 
169, 170 ; naval rivalry with 
England, ii. 324 

Gibbon, Mr, ii. 22 

Giffen, Sir Robert, ii. 14 

Gilbert and Sullivan operas, i. 340 

Gill, Dr, i. 168 

Ginniss, i. 173 

Gissing, George, ii. 204 

Gladstone, W. E., i. 17, 33 ; his 
intellectual peculiarities, 34, 35 ; 
his Mid-Lothian campaign, 34, 
35, 37 ; his election in 1880, 38 ; 
his Government of 1880, 40 ; 
his attitude to Lord Randolph 
Churchill, 42 ; his views on the 
Transvaal, 44 ; his Irish policy ; 
75, 79 ; supposed communica- 
tion with Parnell, 79-81 ; in- 
vokes aid from the Vatican, 
106, 107 ; his part in the 
despatch of Gordon to Khar- 
toum, 125, 126; his neglect of 



Gladstone, W. E. continued 
public affairs, 126 ; his attitude 
to Woman Suffrage, 136 ; his 
action in connection with the 
Re-distribution Bill of 1884, 
148 ; outcry against him on 
Gordon's death, 152 ; opposes 
Russian aggression, 157 ; fall 
of his Government, [158 ; his 
manifesto of 1885, 168 ; his 
interview with Mr Chamber- 
lain, 1 68 ; his speech at Edin- 
burgh in 1885, 170 ; his pro- 
posals as to Ireland, 171, 174 ; 
absentees from his new Cabinet, 
178 ; dissolves Parliament, 184 ; 
takes up ecclesiastical dis- 
cussion, 227, 308 ; pronounces 
on the Licensing Laws, 271 ; 
his attitude on the Eight Hours' 
movement, 274 ; his intimation 
as to his resignation, 282 ; 
his lack of interest in the new 
forces, 298 ; his Newcastle 
speech, 300, 301 ; contemplates 
the evacuation of Egypt, 301 ; 
his attitude towards Labour 
candidates, 312 ; his expecta- 
tion of Liberal victory in 1892, 
314 ; his fourth Government, 
316 ; Conservatives' fear of him, 
324 ; his resignation, 345, 348 ; 
at Biarritz, 345 ; his farewell to 
Parliament, 347 ; his views as 
to Cabinet ministers holding 
directorships, 395 ; his efforts 
to obtain recognition of 
Anglican orders, 405 ; received 
by Queen Victoria at Cimiez, 
416 ; death, 437 ; his lying in- 
state, 437 ; his ministries, 445- 
447 ; his biography, ii. 31, 204 

Gladstone, Herbert (now Lord), 
ii. 248, 249, 314 

Glasgow, i. 28 ; exhibition, 167 

Glasier, Bruce, ii. 318 

Glyn, Mills, Currie & Company, 
i. 162 

Gold, shortage of, i. 30, 56, 93 ; 
new process of dealing with, 
163 ; reserves, 294 ; imports of, 

Goldfields of South Africa Ltd., 
i. 232 

Goldie, Sir George, i. 421 ; ii. 171 

Golf, popularity of, i. 279, 306 

Gomme, Laurence (now Sir), ii. 

Good Hope, H.M.S., ii. 178 

Gordon, General, i. 124, 125, 127, 
128, 129, 132, 133, 149, 151 

Gordon v. Street, ii. 35 

Gore, Bishop, ii. 141 

Gorst, Sir John, i. 42, 289, 395 ; 
ii. 135. 163 

Goshen, J. G. (afterwards Vis- 
count), i. 137 ; his connection 
with the gold problem, 56, 120, 
294 ; his pronouncement at 
Manchester, 158 ; his alienation 
from Mr Gladstone's Irish 
policy, 174 ; joins Mr Glad- 
stone's Cabinet, 178 ; Chancellor 
of the Exchequer, 197, 204 ; 
his Conversion Scheme, 233 ; 
his Budget (1888), 234; (of 
1889), 242 ; proposes an extra 
duty on beer and spirits, 270 ; 
his adherence to Free Trade, 
ii. 191 

Gower-Bell telephone, the, i. 22 

Graduated taxes, ii. 282, 321 

Graham, Cunninghame, i. 221, 257 

Graham, General, i. 128 

Grammar schools, i. 428 

Granby, Lord, i. 19 

Grand committees, i. 108 

Grand Hotel, the, i. 195 (note) 

Granville, Lord, i. 40, 77, 78, 86 

Grayson, Victor, ii. 319 

Great Central Railway, the, i. 295 

Great Western Railway, the, i. 295 

Green, Sir Conyngham, ii. 51 

Green, Thomas Hill, i. in ; ii. 258 

Green Park Club, ii. 19 

Greenwich Park, explosion in, i. 342 

Gregory, Canon, i. 66 

Gregory, Lady, ii. 291 

Gregory, Sir William, i. 76 

Grein, J. T., i. 297 

Grenadier Guards, the, insubor- 
dination in, i. 275 

Grenfell, Sir F., i. 241, 301 

Grenfell, W. H. (now Lord Des- 
borough), ii. 207 

Grey, Sir Edward, ii. 147, 174, 248, 
249, 274 ; his attitude to Home 
Rule, 260 

Grey, Lord, i. 187 ; ii. 176 

Grimthorpe, Lord, ii. 32 

Grosvenor Club, ii. 19 

Grosvenor Gallery, i. 167 



Grosvenor, Richard, i. 245 
Gubat, i. 151 
Guerin, M., ii. 47 
Guinness's brewery, i. 186 
Guinness Trust, the, ii. 37 

HAGUE CONVENTION, the, ii. 221 
Haldane, Lord, ii. 147, 197, 248, 
249 ; his Army bill, 278, 282, 283 
Halifax, Lord, ii. no 
Halsbury, Lord, i. 356 ; ii. 146, 310 
Hamilton, General, ii. 95 
Hamilton, General Ian, ii. 95, 96, 


Hamilton, Sir Robert, i. 193 
Hammond, Mr, i. 391 
Hankin, St John, ii. 290 
Hannington, Bishop, i. 178 
Harberton, Lady, i. 114 ; ii. 20 
Harcourt, Sir W. Vernon, i. 17, 
390, 402, 420, 436 ; ii. 32, 147 ; 
denounces the Government's 
Asiatic policy, i. 36 ; his new 
Crimes Bill, 82 ; a meeting at 
his house, 196 ; his schemes for 
raising revenue, 332 ; his 
claims to the premiership, 349 ; 
his Death Duties Budget, 349, 
355 ; defeated at Derby, 372 ; 
resigns the leadership, ii. 10, 
31 ; death, 229 

Hardie, Keir, i. 316, 334, 336, 
339- 37 2 ; his ^ oman Suffrage 
resolution, ii. 275 ; his position 
on the National Council of the 
Labour Party, 318 
Hardy, Thomas, i. 296 
Hare, John (now Sir), i. 297 
Harland, Mr, i. 289 
Hannsworth, Alfred (now Lord 

Northcliffe), i. 399 
Harrington, Mr, ii. 182 
Harris tweeds, i. 413 
Hart, General Fitzroy, ii. 81 
Hartington, Lord (afterwards 
Duke of Devonshire), i. 77, 
200, 311 ; his attitude towards 
the extension of the franchise, 
37 ; on Home Rule, 38 ; invited 
to support Mr Chamberlain's 
organisation, 40 ; his opposition 
to the annexation of the Trans- 
vaal, 44 ; his dislike of the 
Compensation Bill, 53 ; favours 
Coercion Acts, 72 ; his hope of 
uniting the two parties on Irish 

Hartington, Lord continued 

Klicy, 78, 79 ; in favour of 
rnell's release, 81 ; his 
reference to the neglect of 
Egyptian affairs, 126 ; be- 
wildered by Gordon's behaviour, 
132 ; his alienation from Mr 
Gladstone's Irish policy, 174; 
absent from the Cabinet of 
1886, 178 ; moves the rejection 
of the Home Rule Bill, 182 ; 
his connection with Mr Cham- 
berlain, 191 ; refuses to attend 
a meeting of Liberals at Sir 
Wm. Harcourt's house, 196 ; 
his interest in technical educa- 
tion, 200, 328 ; his opposition 
to self-government for Ireland. 
217 ; succeeds to the dukedom 
of Devonshire, 303 ; moves the 
rejection of the Home Rule Bill 
of 1893, 337 ; his suggestions 
on the Royal Commission on 
Labour Disputes, 353 ; his 
adherence to Free Trade, ii. 
191, 206 ; his resignation, 200 

Harrison, Frederic, i. 245 

Harrowby, Lord, i. 20 

Harvard, ii. 22 

Hastings, Lord, i. 66 

Hauptmann, ii. 24 

Hawke, Mr, i. 355, 422 

Hawkins, Mr Justice, i. 422 

Hawksley, B. F., i. 420 

Hayes, the American runner, ii. 


Headlam, Rev. Stewart, i. 221 
Health Exhibition, i. 141, 142 
Heaton, J. Henniker (now Sir), 

i. 204 

Hector Spruit, ii. 96 
Heligoland, cession of, i. 275 
Hellenes, the, King of, i. 211 ; 

ii. 128 

Henderson, Sir Alexander, ii. 207 
Henderson, Arthur, ii. 192 
Henley Regatta, i. 383 ; ii. 311 
Henley, W. E., ii. 204 
Henry, Colonel, i. 442 
Henry, William, i. 154 
Herschell, Lord, i. 196 
Hertford House, i. 426 
Hertzian waves, i. 435 
Hewlett, Mr, i. 289 
Hewlett, Maurice, ii. 25 
Hickford, Mrs, i. 219 



Hicks-Beach, Sir Michael, i. 56, 
299 ; ii. 184 ; supports Woman 
Suffrage, i. 135 ; his attitude 
to Parnell's motion on Lord 
Spencer's administration of the 
Coercion Act, 160 ; on the 
Labour Commission, 289 ; on 
the Select Committee on British 
South Africa, 390 ; announces 
the Government's policy with 
regard to the Soudan, 433 ; 
his Budget of 1902, ii. 154, 
155 ; resignation, 163 

Hicks Pasha, i. 122 

High Church Party, the, i. 226, 
227, 405 

Higher Grade board schools, i. 
427 ; ii. 121 

Highgate and Hampstead tube, 
the, ii. 294 

Hlangwane Hill, ii. 81 

Hobbs, the trial of, i. 326 

Hobhouse, Lord, i. 245 

Hobhouse, Miss Emily, ii. 144, 146 

Hogarth, D. G., ii. 116 

Hogg, Quintin, i. 245 ; ii. 205 

Hohemollern, the, ii. 127 

Holland, Professor, ii. 168 

Home Rule, the question raised 
in Liverpool, i. 37, 51 ; as- 
sociated with land agitation, 
50, 51 ; the great " split," 174 ; 
Mr Gladstone's intentions, 174 
et seq.; the Bill of 1886, 181 
et seq., 286 ; rejected, 182 ; a 
difficulty of, 285 ; its political 
importance, 313, 314 ; the Bill 
of 1893, 329, 330, 333, 336, 337 ; 
the Liberal split, ii. 233 ; 
repudiated by Lord Rosebery, 
246, 247 ; prominence in the 
King's Speech in 1906, 260 

Hooley, E. T., i. 438 

" Hooligans," ii. 143 

Hopkins, Admiral Sir John, ii. 171 

Hornby, Admiral, i. 239 

Hospital Fund for London, i. 414 
H6tel Metropole, the, i. 195 (note) 
Houghton, Lord, i. 17, 164 
House of Commons, the, pro- 
cedure, i. 175, 238; ii. 153, 154; 
recrudescence of the Irish Con- 
troversy, 237 ; feebleness of, 
366 ; its condition in 1900, ii. 
105 ; its composition in 1906, 

House of Lords, feeling against, i. 
137 ; democratic committee for 
its abolition, 137 ; demonstrata- 
tion against, 142, 143 ; pro- 
posed reform of, 236 ; amends 
the Education Bill of 1906, ii. 
264 ; campaign against, 316 ; at- 
titude to the Budget of 1909, 331 

Housing and Town Planning Bill, 
the, ii. 309 

Housing of the Poor, Royal Com- 
mission, i. 140, 141, 163 

Housing of the Working Classes 
Act, i. 269 

Housing reform, i. 227, 228 

Howorth, Sir Henry, i. 371 

Hudson, Mr, ii. 262 

Hughes, Rev. Hugh Price, ii. 153, 


Hull Dock Strike, i. 332 
Hunter, General (now Sir A.), ii. 99 
Huxley, T. H., i. 27, 227, 308, 374 
Hyde Park, meetings in. i. 15, 317 
Hydrophobia, i. 188 
Hyndman, H. M., tried for sedi- 
tion, i. 179 ; his programme of 
Jabour demands, 220 ; defeated 
at the polls, 372 

IBSEN, H., i. 297 ; ii. 24 
Iddesleigh, Lord, i. 203 
Idealism, the forces of, i. 77, 78, 90 
Ilorin, i. 421 

Imperial Federation, i. 204 
Imperial Institute, the, i. 190 
Imperial Penny Post, i. 204 
Imperial Tobacco Co., the, ii. 172 
Importance of Being Earnest, The, 

i- 3<57 
Income-tax, proposed abolition, 

i. 144 ; increase of, ii. 134, 215 
Incomes, distinction between 

earned and unearned, ii. 284, 

285, 321 

In Darkest Africa, i. 281 
In Darkest England, i. 281, 303 
Independent Labour Party, the, 

i. 240, 336, 372 ; ii. 39 
Independent Theatre, the, i. 297, 

341 ; ii. 24 

India, the Nationalists of, ii. 286 
Indian frontier, the, i. 419 
Indomitable, H.M.S., ii. 305 
Industrial art, i. 97 
Industrialism, growth of, i. 212, 




Industrial Remuneration Confer- 
ence, i. 154 

Industrial villages, i. 155 
Infectious Diseases Act, i. 270 
Influenza, outbreak of, i. 307 
Ingram, Bishop Winnington, ii. 


In His Steps, ii. in 
Insurance, Workmen's, the Ger- 
man system of, i. 311 
International Commission of 

Liquidation, i. 83 
International Congress of Work- 
men's Organisations, i. 119 
International courtesies, ii. 287 
International Federation of cotton 
spinners and manufacturers, ii. 


International Horse Show, ii. 285 
International Trade Union Con- 
gress, i. 240 
Inventions, i. 21 

" Invincibles," the, i. 82, 105, 106 
Ireland, famine in, i. 15 ; tenants 
in, 46, 47 ; agitation in, 48 ; 
nationalism and fenianism in, 
48 ; land campaign in, 49 ; land- 
lords in, 49 ; agrarian crime in, 
52, 74, 99, 104 ; evictions in, 52, 
193 ; offered Local Government 
through councils, 170; revision 
of judicial rents in, 193 ; moon- 
lighting in, 193 ; plan of cam- 
paign in. 194 : vice royaltv of, 
249 ; Local Government Bill for, 
313 ; Lord Dunraven's proposal, 
il. 228 ; Bill to set up councils in, 

Irish American plots, i. 105 
Irish Councils Bill, ii. 282 
Irish Guards, the, ii. 83 
Irish Land Purchase Bill, i. 268, 

282, 387, 393 ; ii. 150, 181 
Irish Local Government, i. 313, 

412, 413, 436 
Irishman, The. i. 72 
Irish party in the House of Com- 
mons, i. si : ii. 12 
Irish Relief Bill, i. 284 
Irish Republican Brotherhood, the, 

i. 48 

Irishtown, i. 50 
Irish World, The, i. 74 
Irving, Henry (afterwards Sir), 

i. 297 
Isaacs, Rufus (now Sir), ii. 210 

Ismail, Khedive of Egypt, i. 83 
Ismay, T. H., i. 289 
Islanders, The, ii. 165 
Ivanhoe, i. 276 
Iveagh, Lord, ii. 37 

JACKSON, Sir John, ii. 171 
Jackson, W. L., i. 390 

(acobsdal, ii. 80 
aeger, Dr, i. 142 
amaica earthquake, r ii. 278, 279 
James, Henry, i. 118, 296; ii. 


James, Professor William, ii. 205 
James of Hereford, Lord, i. 404 ; 

ii. 34, 204 
Jameson, Mr, accusation against, 

i. 281 
Jameson, Dr, i. 384-386, 388-391, 

Jameson Raid, the, a result of, ii. 

Japan, Russia's relations with, ii. 

219, 241 

Jebb, Sir Richard, ii. 168 
Jex-Blake, Dr Sophia, i. 26 
Johannesburg, trouble in, i. 276 ; 
demands municipal Govern- 
ment, ii. 52 ; entered by Lord 
Roberts, 93 ; labour in the mines, 
122, 183 

John Inglesant, i. 118 
Jones, Sir Alfred, ii. 206, 279 
^fones, Henry, ii. 19 (note) 
ones, Henry Arthur, ii. 142 
oubert. General, ii. 55 
ubilee, Queen Victoria's, i. 190, 

197 et seq., 408, 413-418 
Judicature Act, the, i. 73 
Judicature, the High Court of, i. 

365, 366 
Ju-jitsu, ii. 22 
Jumbo, the Elephant, i. 94 
Justice, i. 143 


ii. 177, 178 
Kansas City, i. 358 
Kasai Company, the, ii. 274 
Kassala. i. 131 
Keke- ich, ii. 82 
Kelly, the " Invincible," i. 105 
Kelmscott Press, the, i. 298 
Kennaway, Sir John, ii. 33 
Kenny, Dr, i. 75 
Keynotes, i. 344 



" Khaki Election," the, ii. 100 
Khalifa, the, i. 375 433, 434 ; de- 
feated at Ginniss, 173 ; destruc- 
tion of his army, 440 
Khartoum, i. 131, 151, 440, 442 ; 

expedition, 124 et seq. 
" Kilmainham Treaty, The," i. 

81, 104 

Kimberley, i. 222 ; ii. 53, 67, 77, 
80, 82 ; Central Diamond Mining 
Co., i. 233 
King, Canon (afterwards Bishop), 

i. 66, 244 

King Edward VII., H.M.S., ii. 270 
King's College (London), i. 202 
Kingsley, Rev. Charles, i. 226 
King's Lynn, typhoid fever at,i. 428 
Kingston (Jamaica), earthquake 

at, ii. 278, 279 
Kinnaird, Lord, i. 20 
Kipling, Rudyard, i. 296, 418 ; 

ii. 25, 86, 165 

Kitchener, Sir Herbert (now Lord), 
i' 398. 434 ; ii. 241 ; reoccupies 
Kha toum, i. 440 ; receives a 
sword of honour, 442 ; Lord 
Roberts' Chief of the Staff in 
South Africa, ii. 74 ; attacks 
Cronje at Paardeberg, 81 et seq. ; 
his narrow escape, 95 ; assumes 
command in South Africa, 103 ; 
asks for reinforcements, 133 ; his 
concentration camps, 144, 145 ; 
his sweeping operations, 145, 
J 55> J 56; returns home, 162; con- 
sults with the Boer leaders, 165 
Klerksdorp, ii. 157 
Klip Drift, ii. 81 
Klondyke goldfields, i. 429 
Knickerbocker Trust Co., the, ii. 


Koch, Dr, i. 280 ; ii. 27 

Koomatipoprt, ii. 96 

Kordofan, i. 122 

Korea, ii. 219 

Korti, i 151, 158 

Krakatoa eruption, i. 123 

Kronstadt. ii. 84, 92 

Kruger, President, i. 71, 232, 357, 
385, 386, 389, 410 ; claims an in- 
demnity for the Jameson Raid, 
421 ; confers with Sir A. Milner, 
ii. 49, 57, 58 ; his distrust of 
England, 50, 51 ; fear of the 
Rand's dominion, 54 ; his poli- 
tical philosophy, 55 ; flight from 

Kruger, President continued 
Pretoria, 94 ; crosses the fron- 
tier, 96 ; lands at Marseilles, 103 

Krugersdorp, i. 384 

LABOUCHERE, Henry, i. 117, 137, 

215, 349, 390 ; ii. 62 
Labour Electrical Association, the, 

i. 272 

Labour Exchanges Bill, ii. 320 
Labour Disputes Bill, i. 335 
Labour Disputes, Royal Com- 
mission on, i. 352 ; suggestions 

of the Duke of Devonshire, 353 
Labour Members of Parliament, i. 

196, 312, 315, 436; ii. 38, 39. 

262, 263, 319 
Labour candidates for Parliament, 

i. 312, 315 ; new school of, 219 ; 

Royal Commission on, 286, 289, 

Labour Party, the, i. 372 ; ii. 38, 

39, 256, 257, 262, 319, 332 ; 

advanced section of, i. 316, 317 
Labour trouble, i. 30, 31. See also 


Labour vote, the, ii. 256, 259 
Ladas, the racehorse, i. 355 
Ladies' Land League, the, i. 75, 

79. 99 

Ladies' University Club, ii. 19 

Ladysmith, ii. 66, 67, 76, 77 ; re- 
lief of, 82 

Lagos, ii. 217 

Lake, B. G , ii. 119 

Lake, Dean, i. 65 

Lancashire, emigration schemes in, 
i. 16 ; strike of weavers, 119, 139, 
318, 325 ; riots in, 195 ; move- 
ment to establish continuous 
sittings of the High Court, 365 ; 
outbreak of rabies, 396 

Land Act, the, i. 73 

Land, the price of, i. 163 

Land Campaign, the Irish, i. 49-51 

Land League, the, formation of, 
i. 50 ; activity of, 52, 73-75 ; 
loses Parnell's control, 82, 99 

Landlordism, English, i. 49, 155 

Land nationalisation, i. 143, 155 

Land purchase, Conservative 
scheme for Ireland, i. 78 

Land Purchase Bill, i. 182 

Land transfer, i. 175 

Land Valuation Bill. ii. 282, 321 

Lane- Fox, Mr, ii.,246 



Langley, Professor, i. 392 
Lankester, Sir E. Ray, i. 117 
Lansdowne, Lord, ii. 331, 333 ; 
leaves Mr Gladstone's Cabinet, 
i. 53 ; Foreign Secretary, ii. 117 ; 
his foreign policy, 244, 245 
Lansdowne House, Unionist meet- 
ing at, ii. 266 ; meeting to oppose 
the Licensing Bill, 315 
La Patrie, the French airship, ii. 


Latham, M., ii. 326 
L'Aurore, i. 432 
Law, Bonar, ii. 254 
Law of Evidence Amendment 

Bill. i. 410, 411 

Lawson, Sir Wilfrid, i. 137 ; ii. 62 
Lead poisoning, ii. 203, 204 
Lecky, W. E. H., ii. 168, 204 
Leech, Alderman Bosdin, i. 97 
Leeds, Science College, i. 27, 65 ; 

electric tramway, 358 ; York- 
shire College, ii. 122 
Lefevre, Shaw (now Lord Ever- 

sley\ ii. 247 ; on the English 

land system, i. 155 
Le Gallienne, Richard, i. 240 
Leicester, Mr, i. 196 
Leigh ton, SirF. (afterwards Lord), 

i. 17. 404 
Leno, Dan, ii. 218 
Leo XIII., Pope, i. 277, 308 
Le Sitcle, i. 432 
Lesseps, M. de, i. 432 
Lever, Messrs, ii. 231, 273 
Levi, Professor Leone, i. 212 
Lewis, Sir Wm. T. (now Lord 

Merthvr\ i. 289; ii. 118, 207 
Leyds, Dr, ii. 50, 60 
Lhassa, ii. 219 
Liberal Government, the (of 1880 

to 1885), i. 77, 102 (of 1892), 316 

et seq. ; ii. 258 ; (of 1906) ii. 249, 

251 et seq. 

Liberal Imperialists, ii. 10 
Liberalism, official, i. 143 
Liberal League, ii. 145, 146, 212, 

Liberal Party, the, state of, i. 436 ; 

ii. 205, 233 
Liberals, hostility of a group to the 

Soudan policy, i. 152, 153 ; their 

policy, 285 

Liberal Two Thousand, the, i. 181 
Liberal Unionist Association, the, 

i. 193 ; ii. 229 

Liberal Unionists, meetings with 
Conservatives, i. 207, 217 ; 
central organising committee of, 
249; comparative failure in 1892, 
314 ; their position in 1900, ii. 
106, 107 
Liberator Building Society, the, i. 

322, 325 
Licensed houses, ii. 214 ; a return 

of, i. 271 ; taxes on, ii. 321 
Licensed victuallers' trade, the, 

i. 230 
Licensing Bills, ii. 150, 174, 175, 

212-215, 282, 301, 305-308 
Licensing Tustices, ii. 192 
Licensing Laws, the, Royal Com- 
mission on, i. 396 ; ii. 42, 43 
Liddon, Canon, i. 66, 255, 277 
Life and Labour in London, i. 304 ; 

ii. 197 

Life, the origin of, i. 227 
Light Coinage Bill, the, i. 248, 292 
Light 'hat Failed. The, i. 296 
Light Railways Bill, i. 393 
Lilienthal, i. 392 ; ii. 26, 297 
Limited Liability, growth of the 
principle, i. 186, 212, 230-232; 
capital in 1894, 368 ; ii. 166 
" Lincoln Judgment," the, i. 244, 


Linnell, Alfred, i. 221 
Linton, Mrs Lvnn, i. 296 
Lipton, Sir Thomas, ii. 22, 23, 139 
" Little Enelanders," ii 10 
Liverpool, college, i. 27, 65 ; ex- 
pansion of its resources, 28 ; 
Loans Act, 29 ; Home Rule 
question in, 37 ; water supply, 
97; slum quarters in, 115; 
Lord Randolph Churchill at, 
161 ; socialist meetings at, 194 
Livesey. Geor?e, i. 289 
" Living pictures," i. 357 
Local Boundaries Bill, i. 210 
Local Government, i. 175 ; dis- 
satisfaction of Londoners with 
their government, 96, 228, 229, 
Local Government Bill, i. 228-230, 

236, 237 

Local Government Board, the, 
deputation of unemployed to, 
i. 153, 154; extension of its 
powers, 163, 164 ; a report of, ii. 
108 ; under Mr John Burns, 



Local Government debt, i. 39, 
140, 400, 401 

Local taxation, i. 328 

Local Veto movement, the, i. no, 
300, 329, 350, 351, 365, 396 

Lodge, Sir Oliver, i. 435 

London, child population of, i. 27, 
dissatisfaction with its Local 
Government, 96, 97 ; dynamite 
explosions in, 104, 105, 106, 133, 
134; municipal government, 
108; ii. 271, 272; tramways in, 
i. 122, 359 ; socialist demon- 
stration, 194; King's and 
University colleges, 202 ; livery 
companies, 202, 217 ; County 
Council, 245, 265, 290, 308, 
309. 365, 401 ; ii. 271, 272, 285 ; 
School Board, i. 272 ; strikes in, 
288 ; fever epidemic in, 323 ; 
County Council debt, 401 ; 
School of Economics, ii. 27 ; 
problems of administration, 40, 
41 ; water supply, 40 ; raises a 
regiment for South Africa, 74 ; 
street improvement, 1 1 1 ; the 
Centre of the Court, 131 ; Water 
Bill, 150, 174 

London and Globe Finance Cor- 
poration, ii. 132, 179 

London, the Bishop of, i. 258 ; 
ii. 308 

London docks, casual labour at, 

- 373 

London Government Bill, i. 138; 

" 34 

London Guardians, ii. 271, 272 
London Water Bill, ii. 150, 174 
London University, i. 168 
London Valuation Bill, i. 364 
London, Water Commission, the, 

report of, ii. 108 

Long, Walter, i. 396 ; ii. 251, 353 
Lonsdale, Lord, ii. 170 
Looking Backward, i. 273 
Lords. See House of 
Lothair, Captain, i. 381 
Loubet, President, ii. 243 
Lourenco Marques, i. 385 
Lovat, Lord, ii. 75 
Lowe, Robert, ii. 125 (note) 
Lowther, James, i. 171 ; ii. 184 
Lubbock, Sir John (now Lord 

Avebury), i. 228, 245 < 
Lucas, E. V., ii. 292 
Lucas & Aird, Messrs, i. 186 

Luipaard's Vlei, i. 222 

Lupton Bey, i. 131 

Lyall, Edna, i. 296 

Lydenberg, ii. 96 

Lyttleton, Hon. Alfred, ii. 201, 

208, 239, 252, 253, 261 
Lyttleton, General, ii. 210 

MCCALMONT, Colonel, ii. 183 
Macara, Charles, ii. 274 
McCormack, Sir William, ii. 86 
Macdonald, General, ii. 95 
Macdonald, James, i. 154 
Macdonald, Ramsay, ii. 318 
Macdonnell, Sir Antony, ii. 228, 

237, 282 

Macedonia, ii. 244 
Machadodorp, ii. 96 
McKenna, Reginald, ii. 282, 304, 

35. 324 

MacKonochie, Mr, i. 93 

Macleod, Fiona, ii. 24 

Madagascar, ii. 47 

Maeterlinck, ii. 24 

Mafeking, ii. 67, 77, 78, 83, oo, 91 

Magersfontein, ii. 72, 73, 80 

Magistrates, appointment of 
working-men, i. 172 

Mahdi, the, i. 99, 123 ; overwhelms 
Hicks Pasha, 122 ; destruction 
of his tomb, ii. 10 

Mahmoud, the Emir, i. 434 

Maidstone, typhoid fever at, i. 428 

Maine, U.S.S. the, i. 433 

Maitland, Professor, ii. 168 

Ma~or ; ty, '''he, ii. 269 

Majuba Hill, i. 69, 70 ; ii. 65 

Malaria, ii. 26 

Malt tax, the, i. 46 

Manchester, college, i. 27 ; 
Kindergarten Society, 27 ; ex- 
pansion of its resources, 28 ; 
Ship Canal, 97, 139, 165, 186, 
222, 295, 358 ; Industrial 
Exhibition, 97 ; Ancoats 
Brotherhood, 112; tramways, 
122 ; water supply, 156 ; 
Owen's College, 168 ; technical 
Education, 201 ; strike of the 
corporation ^as employees, 260 ; 
housing problem in, ii. 36 ; 
Mr Balfour's speeches at, 233- 
235 ; Liberal gains in, 251 ; 
Repertory Theatre, 291 

Manchester Guardian, The, 'ii. 88 

" Manchester School, The," ii. 17 



Manchester, Sheffield and Lincoln- 
shire Railway, ii. 41 
Mandalay, i. 178 
Manila, i. 434, 435 
Manitoba, a settlement in, i. 199 
Mann, Tom, i. 258, 275, 290 
Manners, Lord John, i. 135 
Manning, Cardinal, i. 256, 257, 

25 8 .. 277, 37 
Mansion House, the, conference 

at, i. 257, 339 
"Marathon" Race, the, ii. 310, 


Marchand, Captain, i. 397, 442 
Marconi, Signer, i. 436 ; his 

wireless system, ii. 139 
Mareuil, Villebois, ii. 92 
Margarine Act, i. 215 
Married Women's Property Act, 

i. 113 

Marshall, Professor, i. 389 
Martineau, Dr, ii. in 
Maseneld, John, ii. 290 
Mashonaland, i. 385 
Mason College, i. 27 
Masque of learning, a, ii. 290 
Masserene estate, the, i. 249 
Massowah, i. 397 
Matabele, the, i. 356 
Matabeleland, i. 385 
Matchmakers' Union, the, i. 225 
Mather & Platt, i. 372 
Maurice, Rev. F. D., i. 226 
Mawdsley, J , i. 289 
Maxim, Sir Hiram, i. 392 
Maxim-Nordenfeldt works, i. 260 
Maybrick, Mrs, i. 251 
Mayflower yacht, the, i. 190, 191 
Mayo, Lord, ii. 182 
Meat, importation of, i. 24 ; supply, 

26, 145, 279 
Meath, Lord, i. 219 
Mechanical flight, i. 117, 392; 

ii. 26, 139, 326 
Menelik, King, i. 178 
Merchant Shipping Bill, i. 138 
Meredith, George, i. 118, 296; 

ii. 291, 329, 330 
Merriman, Mr, ii. 144 
Merriman, Seton, ii. 204 
Metemmeh, i. 150 
Methuen, Lord, ii. 67, 71, 72, 79, 

92. 95 

Metropolitan Tabernacle, the, i. 

Michel, Louise, i. 113 

Mitchelstown, riot at, i. 216 

Middleburgh, ii. 157 

Middle class, the, i. 17, 61 ; 
savings of, 55, 242 ; efforts on 
behalf of the poor, 143 ; prone- 
ness to easy distractions, ii. iSS 

Mile End Guardians, the, ii. 271, 


Mill, John Stuart, i. 135 
Millais, Sir J. E., i. 17, 404 
Millbank Prison site, i. 163 
Milner, Sir Alfred (now Lord), i. 

419 ; ii. 30, 49 ; his despatches, 

K', 58, 59 ; his meeting with 
esident Kruger, 57, 58 ; his 

despatch of 5th May 1899, 58, 

59 ; meets Boer leaders, 158 ; 

returns home, 240 
Miners' Federation, the, ii. 17 
Minotaur, H.M.S., i. 21 
" Missing Word " competitions, i. 


Mivart, St George, ii. no 
Moat House Farm Case, the, ii. 188 
Modder River, ii. 68, 69, 71, 79, 


Money, i. 297 

Moneylenders' Bill, ii. 34, 107 
Money Order Bill, i. 23 
Monkswell, Lord, i. 245 
" Monroe Doctrine," the, i. 382 
Monson, i. 340 

Montagu, Scott (now Lord), ii. 115 
Montefiore, Sir Moses, i. 165 
Moody and Sankey, i. in 
" Moonlighting," practice of, i. 


Morant, Robert (now Sir), ii. 224 
Morel, E. D., ii. 245, 274 
Morgan, Pierpont, ii. 18 
Money, Arnold, ii. 247 
Morley, Professor Henry, i. 332 
Morley, John (now Lord), i. 155 ; 
ii. 147, 168, 2ii, 248, 291 ; ad- 
vocates abolition of the House 
of Peers, i. 138 ; consultation 
with Parnell over Home Rule. 
181 ; his picture of the Parnell 
Commission, 267 ; attitude 
towards the eight hour move- 
ment, 274 ; Chief Secretary for 
Ireland, 319 ; his defeat at 
Newcastle, 372 ; correspondence 
with Sir Wm. Harcourt as to 
the leadership, ii. 10, 31 ; un- 
dertakes Mr Gladstone's 



Morley, John continued 

biography, 31 ; protest against 
war with the Transvaal, 62 ; 
his Life of Gladstone, 204 

Morley, Samuel, i. 20 

Morning Herald, The, i. 315 

Morning Leader, The, i. 315 ; ii. 
88, 89 

Morocco, ii. 222, 243 

Morris, William, i. 31, 63, 97, 172, 
221, 234, 298 ; on Radicalism, 
112 ; death, 405 

Motor cabs, ii. 327 

Motor cycles, ii. 115 

Motor industry, the, i. 166, 359, 
392, 406, 407, 439 ; ii. 115, 139, 
194 ; legislation affecting, ii. 
193. 322 

Motor omnibuses, ii. 327 

Motor racing, ii. 194 

Motor tricycle, a, i. 166 

Mountmorres, Lord, i. 52 

Mount Temple, Lord and Lady, 
i. 20 

Mukden, ii. 241 

Mullett, the " Invincible," i. 105 

Mundella, A. J., i. 201, 289, 327 

Municipal Corporations Act, i. 90 

Municipal Corporations Associa- 
tion, ii. 40 

Municipal reform, ii. 272 

Municipal trading, ii. 40, 108, 194, 


Munro, Professor, ii. 168 
Murray, General Wolfe, ii. 210 
Music halls, growth of popularity, 


NAKHEILA, i. 434 

Nansen, Dr, i. 279 

Napoleon, The Last Phase, ii. 292 

Natal, British infantry ordered to, 

ii. 61 
National Anti-Gambling League, 

i- 355 

National Cyclists' Union, i. 142 
National Debt, conversion of, i. 

138 ; reduction of, ii. 285, 308 
National Electric Light Company, 

i. 242 

National finances, i. 16 
National Gallery of British Art, 

i. 276, 277, 307 ; ii. 112 
National Health Society, i. 96 
National Insurance, nucleus of, 

i. 143 ; German system, 311 

National League, the, suppression 

of branches, i. 216 
National Liberal Club, i. 99, 185 
National Liberal Federation, ii. 

62, 151, 259 

National Service League, ii. 169 
Nationalists, the, understanding 
with the Tories, i. 174 ; temper 
of, 237 ; united under John 
Redmond, ii. 106 ; their 
strength in 1906, 251. 252 
Natural History Museum, i. 65 
Naval Estimates, i. 247, 345, 351, 

436 ; ii. 46, 304, 320, 324 
Naval review, ii. 164 
Naval rivalry with Germany, ii. 324 
Navigable balloons, ii. 293 
Navy, the, " two power stan- 
dard " ideal, i. 342, 351 
Government policy as to, 379 
additions to, ii. 269, 270 
mutiny in, 271 
Necessaries of life, cheapness of, 

ii. 184, 185 

Netherlands Railway, the, ii. 52 
Newcastle, Victoria University, i. 
65 ; Mr Gladstone's speech at, 
300, 301 ; House, 62 ; " pro- 
gramme," 364 
New Earswick, ii. 231 
New English Art Club, i. 167 
Newfoundland Fisheries, ii. 47 
New Gallery, the, i. 234 
Newgate Prison, ii. 279 
New Hebrides, the, hoisting of the 

French flag in, i. 103, 223 
Newman, Cardinal, i. 277 
Newman, trial of, i. 326 
New Romney Corporation, i. 91 
News jrom Nowhere, i. 273 
Newspapers as a medium for 

gambling, i. 214 
Newton, the Lord Mayor, ii. 15 
New Trade Unionism," the, 
i. 260 

Nicholson's Nek, ii. 65 
Niger, the, French influence on, 

i. 421 
Nile, the, an expedition up, i. 

Nineteenth Century, The, i. 227 ; 

ii. 63, no, 116 
Nitrates, i. 94 
Noble, William, i. no 
Nonconformists, ii. 152, 153, 173, 

174, 224, 262-265 



Nordenfeldt, the gunmaker, i. 165 
Norman, F. M. Sir Henry, ii. 171 
North, Colonel, i. 242 
North American Shipping Trade, 

the, ii. 172 

Northbrook, Lord, i. 178 
Northclitfe, Lord, ii. 267, 268. 

See also Harmsworth, Alfred. 
Northcote, Sir Statford, i. 42, 43, 

X 35. I 37- See also Iddesleigh 
North Fermanagh by-election, 

ii. 192 
North Pole, the, expedition to, 

North Sea, the, the Russian fleet 

in, ii. 220, 242 
Norway and Sweden, the Crown 

Prince of, ii. 128 ; breach 

between 242 
Norwood, Mr, i. 253, 256 
Nottingham University College, 

i. 65 

Nulli Secundis, the airship, ii. 293 
" Number One," the identity of, 

i. 105 

Nuneham, ii. 229 
Nupe, i. 421 

O'BRIEN, Barry, i. 48, 75, 107 
O'Brien, William, i. 216 ; ii. 182 
Oceanic, the s.s., ii. 12 
Oil, the flash point of, ii. 38 
O'Kelly, imprisonment of, i. 75 
Old Age Pensions, i. 304, 310, 320 ; 
ii. 35, 274, 301, 308, 309, 320, 332 
Oliphant, Laurence, i. 17 
Olivier, Sidney (now Sir), ii. 24 
Olympic Games, the, ii. 310 
Omdurman, i. 440 ; ii. 10 
Omnibus men strike in London, 

i. 288 

Onslow, Lord, i. 356 
Orange Free State, the, ii. 53, 67 ; 
removes the Government to 
Kronstadt, ii. 84 ; British re- 
verses in, 85 ; annexation of, 94 
Order of Merit, the, ii. 291 
Orpen, William, ii. 112 
Osborne, Bernal, i. 17, 92 
Osborne, Lord Sydney Godolphin, 

i. 195, 225 
O'Shea v. O'Shea and Parnell, i. 

282, 283 

Osman Digna, i. 128, 301 
Osman Rifki Pasha, i. 84 
Owen's College, Manchester, i. 168 

Oxford, establishment of a re- 
search degree, i. 352 ; young 
Liberals of, ii. ii ; hall of re- 
sidence for working men, 27 ; 
masque of learning, 290 

PAARDEBERG, ii. 81 et seq. 

Paderewski, i. 307 

Pageants, ii. 289 

Painters, a new generation of, i. 


Pall Mall Gazette, The, i. 124 ; ii. 

Pan-Anglican Conference, i. 225 ; 
ii. 300 

Pankhurst, Dr, i. 372 

Paolo and Francesca, ii. 25 

Papal Bull, a, i. 405 

Paper mills, wood pulp, i. 243 

Parcel post, i. 23 

Paris, conference of scientists at, 
i. 57 ; electrical exhibition, 59 ; 
municipal council of, ii. 244 

Parish Councils Bill, i. 337, 338, 
346, 347 

Parker, Dr Joseph, ii. 174 

Parliament, of 1880, i. 38 ; power- 
lessness of, 72 ; Irish obstruction 
in, 73, 77, 107 ; closure of debate, 
90, 107 ; the Irish question in 
1883, 107 ; institution of grand 
committees, 108 ; relations be- 
tween the two Houses, 147 ; vote 
of censure on Mr Gladstone's 
Government, 152 ; dissolution, 
ii. 100 

Parnell, Miss Anna, i. 75 

Parnell, Charles Stuart, leads the 
Irish party, i. 47-50 ; visits 
America, 51 ; denounces violence, 
52, 75 ; arrested, 53. 72, 75 ; a 
result of his imprisonment, 79 ; 
his release, 81 ; loses control 
of the Land League, 82 ; his 
attitude after the Phrenix Park 
murders, 104, 105 ; supposed 
understanding with Lord Salis- 
bury, 161 ; declares for National 
Independence, 170 ; number of 
his adherents, 171 ; in consulta- 
tion with Mr John Morley, 181 ; 
The Times' attack on him, 206 et 
seq., 237 ; facsimile of his alleged 
letter, 207, 208 ; denies its 
authenticity, 208 ; his contempt 
for English public opinion, 211, 



Parnell, Charles Stuart continued 
237, 283 ; his retirement, 268 ; 
his downfall, 285 ; his statement 
as to the Home Rule Bill of 1886, 
286 ; his struggle for the control 
of Irish affairs, 301, 302 ; his 
enduring work, 302 

Parnell Commission, the, i. 52, 250; 
report, 267 

Parnell Commission Bill, i. 238, 

Parsons, Hon, C. A. (now Sir), ii. 
26, 207 

Party organisation, i. 39 

Pasteur, M., i 60, 188, 428 

Pater, Walter, i. 360 

Pearson, C. Arthur, ii. 228, 267, 

Peary, Lieutenant, ii. 325, 326 

Peel heirlooms, ii. 112 

Peel, Lord, i. 396, 397 ; ii. 43-45 

Pekin, the European population in, 
ii. 114; occupation of, 114, 210* 

Pelham, Professor, ii. 168 

Penal Servitude Bill, ii. 215 

Penjdeh, i. 157 

Penrbyn, Lord, i. 408, 409, 423 

Pentonville Prison site, i. 163 

People's Palace, the, i. 168, 202 

Persia, the Shah of, i. 251 

Persimmon, i. 399 

Peters, Dr Karl, i. 422 

Phoenix Park murders, the, i 81 

Phillips, Lionel now Sir), i. 391 

Phillips, Stephen, ii. 23 

Phonographs, i. 236 

Phosphorous poisoning, ii. 37, 38 

Photography used for astronomi- 
cal purposes, i. 168 

Pickard, Mr, i. 196 

Picquart, Colonel, i. 432 

Pienaar's Post, ii. 95 

Pieter's Hill, ii. 81 

Pigott, i 250 

Pilcher, P. S., i. 392 ; ii. 26, 297 

Pioneer Club, the, ii. 19 

Pio Nono, Pope, i. 277, 307 

Pit-brow women, i. 218 

Pitman, Sir Isaac, i. 415 

Plan of Campaign, the, i. 194, 205 

Plasterers, operative, strike of, ii. 

Playfair, Lyon, i. 21 

Plimsoll, S., i. 290 

Plumer, Colonel, i< 61, 210 

Plural Voting Bill, i. 364 ; ii. 265 

Plymouth, visit of the German 

;, fleet, ii. 222 

Pole-Carew, General, ii. 96 

Police strike, a, i. 274 

Political parties in the eighties, 
i. 16 

Pollock, Sir Frederick, i. 289 

Poor Law Board, i. 402 

Poor Law, Royal Commission on, 
i. 320 ; report of, ii. 318 ; re- 
forms, ii. 271 

Poor Law schools, i. 401 

Poplar and Stepney Sick Asylum 
Board, ii. 309 

Poplar Grove, ii. 83 

Port Arthur, ii. 220, 241 

Portland, the Duke of, ii. 295 

Port of London Bill ii. 181 

Port Sunlight, ii. 231 

Portugal, assassination of the King 
and Crown Prince of, ii. 299 

Postmen, a strike of, i. 274 

Post office equipped with tele- 
phones, i. 22 

Potteries, the, i. 16 

Poulett, Earl, ii. 24 

Powell v. Kempton Park Race- 
course, i. 422 

Powell, Walter, M.P., i. 117 

Powerful, H.M.S., ii. 67 

Powers, the. Conference of, i. 87 

Preece, Sir W. H., i. 435 

Preferential tariffs, ii. 187 

Pre-Raphaelite movement, th, 
i. 92, 167, 344 

Pretoria, ii. 92 ; Kruger's flight 
from, 94 ; occupation of, 94 

Pretyman, Captain, ii 253 

Prime Minister, the office of, ii. 230 

Prince's Club, ii. 276 

Prinsloo, Commandant, ii. 93 

Prison administration, i. 411 

" Pro-Boers," ii. 88, 146, 147, 149 

Profit-sharing, i. 119, 272 

Progress and Poverty, i. 155 

Progressives, the, i. 246 

Proportional representation, i. 147 

Protection, i. 218 

Protectionist party, a, ii. 184 

Provincial Press, the, ii. 268 

Psychical Research Society, i. 189 

Public-house licensing, i. 299 ; ii. 

175. J 76 

Public-house Trust, the, ii. 176 
Public service, a blow at the prin- 
ciples of, i. 193 



Public trustee, the, i. 366 
Pusey, Rev. Dr, i. 92 

euEEN's COLLEGE, Ireland, i. 65 
ueensberry, Lord, i. 367 
Quelch, Henry, i. 221 

RABIES, a meeting to stamp out, 

i. 261 ; outbreak of, 396, 428, 

Radicalism, strength of, in the 

country, i. 78 
Radium, ii. 194 
Radnor, Lord, i. 142 
Railway commissioners, the, ii. 

Railway companies, competition 

between, i. 144, 375, 376 
Railway Servants, the Amalga- 
mated Society of, ii. 293, 294 
Railway travelling, i. 66, 235 
Railway unrest, ii. 293 
Rand, the, i, 188, 221, 222, 232, 

249, 265, 369, 385 ; ii. 207, 208 ; 

revenue from, ii. 51 ; demand for 

Municipal Government, 53 ; 

safety of the mines, 94 ; mining 

ordinance, 209 
Ranjitsinhji, Prince, i. 399 
Rating system, the, i. 379 ; ii. 195 
Rational dress, advocacy of, i. 96, 


Recessional, Kipling's, i. 418, 419 
Redistribution Bill of 1884, i. 147, 

148, 150, 153 
Redlich, Professor, i. 91 
Redmond, John, i. 80 ; ii. 106, 182, 

Registration Acceleration Bill, i. 


Reid, Captain Mayne, i. 118 

Reid, Sir Robert (now Lord Lore- 
burn), ii. 213, 248, 249 

Reitz, President, ii. 157 

Rendel, Lord, i. 437 

Republic, the s.s., ii. 317 

Reval, ii. 325 

Revenue, the National, i. 387 

Revenue accounts, i. 16 

Rhodes, Cecil, i. 238, 296, 322, 356, 
386, 389-391, 420, 421, 443 ; ii. 
18, 57 ; his territorial projects, 
56 ; at Kimberley, 57 ; bis 
criticism of Colonel Kekewich, 
82 ; death, 149 ; scholarships 
founded by him, 150 

Rhodes, Colonel Frank, i. 390, 443 

Riaz, Pasha, i. 84. 125 ; dismissal 
of his ministry, 85 

Rietfontein, ii. 68 

Riots, i. 154, 155, 177, 200, 214, 

Ripon, Lord, ii. 247 

Ritchie, C. T., Chancellor of the 
Exchequer, ii. 163 ; his arrange- 
ments for the Sinking Fund, 
184 ; adherence to Free Trade, 
191 ; resignation, 199 

Ritualism, i. 20, 167, 227 ; ii. 32. 
109, 223 

Robert Elsmere, i. 225 

Roberts, Evan, ii. 240 

Roberts, Lord, departure for South 
Africa, i. 69 ; ii. 74 ; his pre- 
parations, 79 ; opening move, 80; 
advance on Pretoria, 92 ; across 
the Vaal river, 93 ; his sweeping 
movement east, 96 ; appointed 
Commander-in-Chief at home, 
102 ; his return, 103 ; invested 
with the Garter, 123 

Roberts' Horse, ii. 85 

Robins, Elizabeth, ii. 292 

Robinson, J. B., ii. 18 

Robinson, Sir Hercules, i, 419 

Rockefeller, Mr, ii. 18 

Rodin, M., ii. 142 

Rogers, Guinness, ii. n (note) 

Rogers, Professor Thorold, i. 275 

Rollit, Sir Albert, i. 311 

R&ntgen Rays, i. 392 

Rosebery, Lord, ii. 147, 148, 174, 
212, 229, 249 ; his assistance in 
forming a department for Scot- 
land, i. 1 08 ; his proposal for 
reform of the House of Lords, 
236 ; on the London County 
Council, 245 ; his Ministry, 349; 
result of his winning the Derby, 
355 ; his views on Cabinet 
ministers holding directorships, 
395 ; resignation, 402, 436 ; at 
Mr Gladstone's funeral, 437 ; 
Liberal mistrust of him, ii. ii ; 
his coolness towards Home Rule, 
12 ; announces his separation 
from Sir H. Campbell- Banner- 
man, 151 ; his Free Trade prin- 
ciples, 197 ; repudiates Home 
Rule, 246, 247 ; his Napoleon, 

Rosmead, Lord, ii. 57 



Ross, Major, ii. 26 

Rossetti, D. G., i. 92 

Rothschild, Lord, ii. 306 

Rothschilds, the, i. 222 

Rotten Row, i. 414 

Roundhay Electric Tram, i. 358 

Rowley, Charles, i. 112 

Rowntree, Messrs, ii. 231 

Rowton, Lord, ii. 36, 37, 205 

Royal Irish Constabulary, the, i. 

Royal Niger Co, the, i. 421 

Royal Titles Bill, ii. 125 ^note) 

Rozhdestvensky, Admiral, ii, 220* 
241, 242 

Runciman, Mr, ii. 304 

Rural district councils, i. 346 

Ruskin, John, i. 63 ; ii. in 

Ruskin Hall, ii. 28 

Ruskin Museum, i. 63 

Russell, Bertrand, ii. 281, 282 

Russell, Sir Charles (afterwards 
Lord), i. 250, 390 

Russell, G. W. E., i. 154, 245 ; ii. 62 

Russell, T. W., ii. 182 

Russia, advance of, in Central Asia, 
i. 156, 157 ; visit of the fleet to 
Toulon, 351 ; the Grand Duke 
Michael of, ii. 128 ; her relations 
with Japan, 219 et seq. ; her fleet 
in the North Sea, 220, 221 ; our 
relations with her, 288, 324, 325 

Russia, the Tsar of, conference 
called by, ii. 47 ; meeting with 
the German Emperor, 243 

Russo-Japanese War, ii. 219 et seq. 

Russo-Turkish War, i 33 

Rutherfoord. Mr, i. 420 

Rutland, the Duke of, i. 437 

Rye Division of Sussex, the, ii. 192 

Rylands, Mrs, i. 310 

Ryle, Rev. Dr, i. 20 

St James's Gazette, i. 302 

St James's Hall, i. 116 

St Paul's Cathedral, reredos in, 
i. 244, 406 ; Jubilee procession 
to, 416 

Salford, mysterious illness in, ii. 121 

Salisbury, Lord, i. 17, 356, 406 ; 
elected leader of the Tory 
peers, 72 ; supports Woman 
Suffrage, 135 ; considers the ad- 
visability of taking office, 159 ; 
supposed understanding with 
Parnell, 161 ; moves the second 

Salisbury, Lord continued 

reading in the House of Lords 
for the purchase of prison sites 
in London, 163 ; his policy with 
regard to the Soudan, 173 ; his 
intentions as to Home Rule, 174; 
offers to serve under Lord 
Harrington, 192 ; his views on 
state-aided emigration, 199 ; his 
treatment of Lord Iddesleigh, 
203 ; decides to retain Suakin, 
241 ; address to the Conservative 
organisation, 250 ; his respon- 
siveness to democratic demands, 
315 ; resignation, 316 ; resumes 
office, 371 ; supports the volun- 
tary schools, 379 ; his work at 
the Foreign Office, 383 ; his 
dictum on Africa, 421 ; an- 
nounces the withdrawal of the 
French from Fashoda, 442 ; his 
ministries, 446, 447 ; his handling 
of the Fashoda incident, ii. 18 ; 
his resignation of the premier- 
ship, 163 ; death, 199 ; political 
experience, 199 

Salvation army, the, attacks on, 
i. 66, 110, 304, 321 ; spread of, 
1 10 ; its shelter system, 224 ; 
its relief work, 321 

Sandwich Islands, the King of the, 

C L . 6 7. 
Sanitation, i. 115 

Sanna's Post, ii. 85 

Santiago, i. 438, 439 

Santos Dumont, M., ii. 139, 293 

San Toy, ii. 23 

Sauer, Mr, ii. 144 

Savings, investment of, i. 363 

Savoy Theatre, the, the Vedrenne- 
Barker management of, ii, 290 

Schley, Admiral, i. 438 

School Boards, i. 27 ; progress of, 
towards Secondary Education, 
i. 65 

Science and Art Department, the, 
i. 428 ; ii. 33 

Scotland, Department for, i. 108 ; 
Lord Rosebery's assistance in 
forming, 108 ; the Crofter move- 
ment, 172, 221; a pplication of 
the principle of congested Dis- 
tricts Boards. 413 ; the Free 
Church of, ii, 223 

Scott, Captain Percy, R.N., ii. 67, 


Scottish Grand Committee, a, pro- 
posal to send all Scottish Bills to, 
i- 349 

Scottish Local Government Act, i^ 

Scottish railways, a strike on, i. 

Seamen's and Firemen's Union, 
the, i. 280, 287, 332, 373 

Searchlights, i, 21 

Secondary Education, Royal Com- 
mission on, i, 351, 380 

Second Mrs Tanqueray, The, i. 340, 

34L 344 

Selborne, Lord, ii 117, 171 
Selwyn, Admiral, i. 165 
Sennar, i. 131 
Serjeants-at-Law, i. 74 
Seryia, the King and Queen of, 

ii. 203 

Sexton, Mr, arrest of, i. 53, 75 
Shackleton, Lieutenant, R.N., ii. 


Shaftesbury, Lord, i 20, 164 
Shamrock, the yacht, ii, 23 
Shamrock II., the yacht, ii, 139 
Sharp v. Wakefield, i 271, 299 ; 

ii. 213, 215 
Shaw, Bernard, i. 155, 156, 240, 

335 ;ii. 24, 113,290 
Shaw, Miss Flora, i. 420 
Shawe-Taylor, Captain, ii. 174, 182 
Sheffield, limited liability com- 
panies in, i. 16 ; college, 27 ; 
exports to America, 54 ; meeting 
in support of " Fair Trade," 58 ; 
Ruskin Museum, 65 ; arrange- 
ments for boarding out Poor 
Law children, 402 
Shepherd's Bush Exhibition, ii. 


Shepstone, Sir Theophilus, i. 44 
Sherlock Holmes, i. 360 
Shipping Federation, the, i. 280, 


Shipping Trade, i. 185, 387 
Shop Hours Bill, i. 314 
Shorthouse, J. H., ii. 204 
Siam, the Crown Prince of, ii. 128 
Sidgwick, Mrs Henry, i. 351 
Sticle, Le, ii. 49 
Siemens, Alexander, i. 59 
Sierra Leone, ii. 217 
Silvertown rubber works, i. 260 
Sims, G. R., i. 219 
Sinclair, Miss May, ii. 292 

Sinking Fund, the, ii. 184 
Skating on artificial ice, ii. 276 
" Skeleton Army," the, i, no, 167 
Skye, riots in, i. 195 
Slade School, the, ii. 121 
Slatin Bey, i. 122, 131, 375 
Sloan, Tod, the jockey, ii. 21 
Small Holdings, i. 155 ; Bill, ii. 282 
Smith, " Chicago," ii. 84 
Smith, Professor Goldwin, i. 184 ; 

ii. ii 

Smith, R. B. Etherington, ii 22 
Smith, W. H. ( i. 78, 79, 210, 303 
Snowden, Philip, ii. 318 
Soap factory combines, ii. 273 
Social Democratic Federation, the, 

> 31. 63, 172, 304; manifesto, 

194 ; anarchist leanings of, 317 
Socialism, i. 31, 32, 100, 113, 142, 

143, 172, 179, 342, 343 ; ii. 39 
Socialist meetings in London, i. 304 
Socialists' conference in Glasgow, 

ii. 108 

Social reform, i. 114 
Social Settlement movement, the, 

i. ii2, 113 

Social unrest, i. 154, 155, 177, 200 
Society, in 1880, i. 16 ; changed 

spirit of, ii. 19 ; changed habits 

of, 276 
Society for Removing Bishops 

from the House of Peers, the, 

i- 137 

Soho, anarchists in, i. 343 

Solly, Rev. H., i. 155 

Somaliland, British interests in, 
i. 276 

Soudan, the, situation in, i. 127 ; 
policy with regard to, 173 ; a 
result of the expedition, 215 ; 
further expedition, 397, 433 ; 
reconquest of, 441 ; an etfect of 
the campaign, ii. 10 

" Souls," the, i. 19 

South Africa, resentment caused 
by first annexation of the Trans- 
vaal, i. 16, 33 ; telegraph line to. 
23 ; goldfields of, 93, 188, 221, 
222 ; gold boom in 232, 322, 358 ; 
General Booth's emigration 
scheme, 303 ; telegraph schemes 
in, 322 ; unrest in, 356 ; slump 
in stocks and shares, 368, 369 ; 
menacing aspect of affairs, ii. 9 ; 
British enterprise in, 57 ; in- 
crease of British troops in, 61 ; 



South Africa continued 

civil reorganisation in, 156 ; 

Kaffir problem in, 177, 178 ; 

Chinese labour in, 183, 207, 208 
South Africa Committee report, 


South Africa Conciliation Com- 
mittee, ii. 87 

South African War, the, Royal 
Commission on, ii. 171 

South Eastern and Chatham rail- 
ways, ii. 41 

Southern Nigeria, ii. 217 

South London School of Technical 
Art, i. 202 

South Metropolitan gas v.-orks 
(London), strike at, i. 260 

South Pole, expedition to, ii. 325 

South Wales, state of ironworks in, 
i. 15. 16 

Spanish-American War, th, i 

433-435. 439 

Speaker, The.ii. n 

Spencer, Herbert, i. 403 ; ii. 205 

Spencer, Lord, Viceroy of Ireland, 
i. 81 ; his connection with the 
Errington Mission, 107 ; his ad- 
ministration of the Coercion Act, 
160 ; his library, 310 ; moves the 
second reading of the Home Rule 
Bill of 1893, 337 ; illness, ii. 247 

Spion Kop, ii. 80, 86 

Spirit duties, i. 215, 331 ; ii. 321 

Spiritualism, i. 1 16 

Spithead, review at, i. 408, 417 ; 
visit of French fleet to, ii. 243 

Spurgeon, Rev. C. H., i. 308 

Stalky and Co., ii. 25 

Standard, The, ii. 228, 267 

Standerton, ii. 61; occupation of, 96 

Stanhope, Philip (now Lord Wear- 
dale), i. 420 ; ii. 62, 66 

Stanley, Lord, ii. 254 

Stanley, H. M., his confidence in 
Gordon's ultimate success, i. 
133 : goes to the relief of Emin 
Pasha, 204, 241 ; reaches Zanzi- 
bar, 261, 262 ; controversy 
about, 280, 281 

Stanley, Lyulph (now Lord Shef- 
field , i. 228 

Stanley, Hon. Maude, i. 219 

Star, The, i. 240, 315 ; ii. 38, 88, 89 

Steam trains introduced into 
London, i. 165 

Steevens, G. W. t ii. 82 

Stephenson, General, i. 132 

Stevenson, Robert Louis, i. 339 

Stewart, Colonel, leaves for Egypt, 
i. 124 ; attempt to reach Lower 
Egypt, 148 ; murder of, 149 

Stewart, Sir Herbert, i. 149 ; 
reaches Metemmeh, 150 ; death, 

Steyn, President, ii. 157 

Stock Exchange, the, i. 242 

Stokes, the English leader, i. 381 

Stores (co-operative), growth of, 
i. 213 

Strand Improvement Bill, the, i. 
266 ; ii. 196 

Strathcona, Lord, ii. 75 

Strathleven, the 8.S., i. 24 

Strauss, Richard, ii. 188 

Strikes, a Blue Book on, i. 261 ; 
frequency of, 274, 287 ; socialist 
leaders' pronouncement on, 354 ; 
of tailors in London, 288 ; of 
cabmen in London, 354, 404 ; 
of plasterers, ii. 61 

Struben, Mr, i. 222 

Stuart, Professor, i. 219 

Stubbs, Canon, i. 66 

Suakin garrison, the, i. 128 ; fight- 
ing at, 241 

Submarine Ai, ii. 222 

Submarines, i. 165 ; ii. 140 

Succi's fast, i 279 

Suez Canal, the, friction over, i. 
102, 103 ; heavy sale of shares, 
139 ; neutralisation of, 223 

Suffragettes," ii. 281, 311, 312, 


Sullivan, P., arrest of, i. 53 
Sullivan, Sir Arthur, i. 376 
Sully, Mr, ii. 217 
Sunday Closing Bills, i t 1 10 
Sunder land engineers, strike of 

i. 119 

Sun Yat Sen, i. 406 
Super- tax, the, ii. 284.. 321, 322 
Sutherland, Sir Thomas, i. 256 
Swan electric lamps, i. 95 
" Sweating," i. 224, 225, 263 ; the 

committee on, 259, 273 
Swinburne, Algernon C., ii. 329, 


Synge, J. M., ii. 291 
Synthetic Philosophy, i. 403 ; ii. 205 

TAFF VALE CASE, the, ii. 256, 257, 



Taff Vale Railway, the, ii. 118 
Tailors' strike in London, i. 288 
Tait, Archbishop, i. 93 
Tait, H., i. 290 
Talana Hill. ii. 66, 68 
Tamai, battle of, i. 128 
Tamatave, arrest of a British 

subject in, i. 103 
Tangier, ii. 243 
Tanner, Dr, i. 251 
Ta-ra-ra-boom-de-ay, i. 305 
Tariff Reform, ii. 212, 218, 225-227, 

232, 255, 257, 260, 266, 267, 328, 

329, 331, 332 
Tariff Reform League, the, ii. 191, 

228, 307 
Tariff reformers, a conference of, 

ii. 235 

Tashi Lama, the, ii. 219 
Tate, Henry (afterwards Sir), i. 

277, 307 

Tate Gallery, the, i. 425 
Taxation, basis of, i. 144 ; methods 

of, ii. 321 

Taximeters, ii. 327 
Teachers, National Union of, i. 

352, 373 

Tea-tax, the, ii. 215 
Technical education, Lord 

Harrington's interest in, i. 200 ; 

expansion of, 201 ; liquor- tax 

applied to, 272 ; International 

Conference on, 427 ; advance in, 

ii. 122 
Technical Education Bill, i. 210, 

Technical Education Board of the 

L. C. C., i. 403, 427 
Technical Instruction Commission, 

i. 98 

Telegrams, reduced rate for, i. 166] 
Teleeraph system, the, i. 23 
Tel-El Kebir, i. 98 
Telephone, the, i. 22, 96. 279 
Temperance principles, ii. 193, 213 
Temple, Bishop, i. 405 
Tfmp*. Les, ii. 49 
Tennant. H. J., i. 412 
Tennyson, Alfred, Lord, i. 17, 297, 


Terriss, William, i. 297, 429 
Territorial force, the, ii. 283, 284 
Terry, Edward, i. 297 
Tess of the D' Urbervilles , i. 307 
Thames steamer iervice, the, ii. 


Thanet by-election, ii. 225, 238 
Theebaw, King, i. 178, 222 
Theosophy, i. 189 
Thibet, ii. 219 
Thompson, Sylvanus, i. 95 
" Thought-reading," i. 116, 117 
Tillett, Ben, i. 253, 257, 273 
Times, The, attack on Parnell, i. 
206 et seq. ; the trial, 237 ; 
change in proprietorship, ii. 228, 

Tippoo Tib, i. 241 
Tithe-Rent Charge Bill, i. 268 
Tivoli Music Hall, the, i. 294 
Tobacco duties, i. 215 
Tokar, i. 301 
Toole, John, i. 297 
Tories, the, understanding with 
the Nationalists,!. 174; suggest 
abolition of the viceroyalty of 
Ireland, 249 
Torrey-Alexander mission, the, ii. 


Tory Democracy, i. 192 
Toski, i. 301 

Tothill Fields prison site, i. 113 
Tottenham street outrage, ii. 317 
Toulon, visit of the Russian fleet 

to, i. 351 

Tower Bridge, the, i. 356 
Tower Hill, meetings on, i. 343 
Toynbee, Arnold, i. in, 112 
Tractarians, the, i. 225, 226 
Trade, condition of, i. 15, 30, 54, 
92, 162, 239. 240, 391 ; ii. 12, 13, 
79. 131, 177, 179 ; Royal Com- 
mission on, i. 198 
Trade Boards Bill, ii. 319 
Trade Disputes Bill, ii. 261, 262, 

265, 332 

Trade Unionism, the New, i. 260 
Trade unions, i. 31, 315, 372 ; 
ii. 16 ; join in an International 
Congress of workmen's organi- 
sations, i. 119; mistakes of, 
143 ; isolation of, 286 et seq. ; 
attacks on, ii. 166 
Trade Unions Congress, i. 172, 
219, 274, 290, 317, 354, 372, 
424 ; ii. 16, 89 

Trafalgar Square, opened to meet- 
ings on Sundays and Bank 
Holidays, i. 319 ; Woman Suf- 
frage riots in, ii. 313 
Traffic in London, congestion of, 
ii. 41 



Tramways, experiments with, i. 
96, 242 ; electricity applied to, 
121, 358 ; in "London and Man- 
chester, 122 ; proposal to run 
them along the Thames Em- 
bankment, 309 ; gas-driven cars, 


Transvaal, the, first annexation 
of, i. 16, 33, 71 ; arrest of the 
President of the Boer Com- 
mittee, 23 ; formally under 
British sovereignty, 44, 45 ; 
mineral wealth of, 56 ; gold- 
fields, 120 ; mining law, 120 ; 
delegates in England, 121 ; 
demand for freedom, 121 ; new 
process for dealing with gold, 
163 ; population of, 249 ; 
trouble in, 276 ; inhabitants of, 
322 ; status of British subject 
in, 356, 357, 382 ; Jameson Raid, 
384 et. seq. ; purchase of arms 
in, 410 ; affairs in 1899, ii. 30 
et. seq. ; rupture with, 49 ; 
franchise qualification, 53, 54 ; 
attitude towards the suzer- 
ainty of Great Britain, 60 ; 
promised war payment, 240 ; 
receives a constitution, 277 

Transvaal National Union, the, i. 


"Treasure-hunting," ii. 2I8 1 
Tree, Beerbohm (now Sir), ii. 142 
Trevelyan, Sir George, i. 17, 178, 

179, 196, 217, 247 
Trevelyan, George Macaulay, ii. 

Treves, Frederick (now Sir), i. 

96 ; ii. 86 

Tribune, The, ii. 269 
Trilby, i. 376, 377 
Trow, E., i. 290 
Truck Bill, i. 209 
Trusts, 'ormation of, i. 232 
Tsu-Shima Straits, battle of, ii. 

242, 270 

Tuberculosis, i. 115, 280 ; ii. 169 
Tugela river, ii. 78 
Tunstall, Mr, i. 289 
Turbine engines, ii. 116, 305 
" Turkish Atrocities," i. 387 
Tweedmouth, Lord, ii. 248, 304, 


Twelfth Night, ii. 142 
Typhoid fever, outbreak of, i. 


UGANDA, i. 178, 276, 369 

Uitlanders, the, i. 385, 389 ; ii. 
49, 51, 54, 59 ; their petition to 
the Raad, 55 

Uitlander schools, ii. 51 

Ulster, i. 182, 217 

Underground railways, the, i. 
242 ; explosion on, 159 ; applica- 
tion of electricity to, ii. 115; 
linking up, 294, 295 

" Unearned increment," ii. 284, 
285, 321 

Unemployed, gatherings in Hyde 
Park, i. 15 ; in Birmingham. 
153 ; deputation to the Local 
Government Board, 153, 154 ; 
militant attitude, 172 ; Mansion 
House Committee, 195 ; march 
to St Paul's and Westminster, 

Unemployment, conference at the 
Mansion House, i 339 ; at the 
Local Government Board, ii. 231 

Unionist Free Traders, ii. 266 

Unionist party organisation, ii. 

Unionists, attitude to customs 
tariff, ii. 226 ; their discomfiture, 

251-253. 332, 333 
Unitarians, the, ii. in 
United Electric Light Company, 

the, i. 242 
United Kingdom Alliance, the, 

ii. 307 

United Ireland, i. 205, 283 
University College (London), i. 202 
University Education, i. 27 
University Extension, i. 243 ; ii. 


University settlement, i. 113 
Urban district councils, i. 346 

VAAT KRANZ Hill, ii. 80 

Vaal river, i. 385 ; ii. 93 

Vaillant, the anarchist, i. 342 

Vedrenne-Barker management of 
the Savoy Theatre, ii. 200 

Venezuela, i. 382, 386, 387 

Vereeniffing, ii. 158, 159 

Verney, Mrs, i. 219 

Victoria, Queen, i. 02, 137 ; 
her reception of the news of 
Gordon's death, 152 ; agrees to 
a dissolution, 184 ; her jubilees, 
190, 197 et seq., 408. 413-418 ; 
opens the Queen's Hall of the 



Victoria, Queen continued 

People's Palace, 202 ; mistrust 
of Mr Gladstone, 324 ; her 
action on his resignation in 
1894, 348, 349 ; receives Mr 
Gladstone at Cimiez, 416 ; 
visited by the Kaiser, ii. 70 ; 
drives through London, 83 ; 
ill-health, 123 ; death, 124 ; her 
Court, 125 ; lying in state, 126 ; 
funeral, 126-128 

Victoria, H.M.S., i. 332 

Victoria and Albert, the, ii. 127 

Victoria University, i. 27 

Vigo, ii. 221 

Vincent, Sir Howard, i. 209 

Viper, H.M.S., ii. 116, 140 

Vladivostock, ii. 242 

Volksrust, ii. 61 

Voluntary schools, ii. 33, 34 ; 
accommodation, i. 27 ; inquiry 
into, 379 ; additional grant to, 
394, 395. 426 

Volunteer movement, the, i. 239 

Vrooman, Mr, ii. 27 

Vryheid, ii. 61 

WAGE, Rev. Dr, i. 226; ii. no, 

Wad el Nejumi, i. 301 

Wady Haifa, i. 157, 173, 433 

Wales, Edward, Prince of, i. 19, 
293 ; suggests the foundation 
of the Imperial Institute, 190 ; 
wins the Derby, 399 ; suggests 
the hospital fund for London, 
414 ; a pall-bearer at Mr Glad- 
stone's funeral, 437 ; proclaimed 
King, ii. 124 

Wales, George, Prince of, ii. 137 ; 
meets Lord Kitchener, 162 ; 
visits Quebec, 305 

Wales, Radical county councils 
in, ii. 224 ; university college 
for, i. 146 ; riots in, 195 

Walkley. A. B., i. 240,; ii. 142 

Wallace, Sir Richard and Lady, 
i. 426 

Walsall anarchists, the, i. 342 

Walter, John, ii. 267 

Wanklyn, Mr, a phrase coined by, 
ii. 100 

Ward, Dudley, ii. 22 

Ward, Mrs Humphry, i. 225, 296 ; 

Ward,_Sir Edward, ii. 210, 211 

War Hospitals, Commission on 

ii. 170 

War loan, a, ii. 84, 133 
War Office, the, ii. 210 ; contracts, 

79, 196 

Warren, Sir Charles, ii. 86 
War Stores, Royal Commission on, 

ii. 240 
Water companies, scheme for 

purchasing, i. 365 
Water famine, a, i. 400 
Watson, William, i. 307 
Wauchope, General, ii. 72 
Webb, Captain, i. 118 
Webb, Sydney, i. 335 
Webster, Sir Richard (now Lord 

Alverstone), i. 390 
Welby, Sir Reginald (afterwards 

Lord), i. 245 

Wells, H. G., ii. 187 ; ii. 292 
Wells, "Monte Carlo," i. 295 
Welsh choirs,- i. 423 
Welsh Disestablishment, Bill 

(1893), i. 329, 33. 37 1 
Welsh Grand Committee, pro- 
posal to send Welsh Bills to, 

i- 350 
Welsh slate quarry dispute, i. 

408, 409, 423 
West, Sir Algernon, ii. 44 
West Africa, cotton growing in, 

ii. 217 
Westminster Abbey, jubilee 

than' sgiving service in, i. 211 ; 

burials in, 437 ; aquarium, i. 116 
Westminster Hall, lying in-state 

of Mr Gladstone, i. 437 
Westminster, the Duke of, i. 183 
Wharton, Mr, i. 390 
Whistler, i. 17, 19, 234, 306 ; ii. 204 
White, Sir George, ii. 77, 89 
White, W. H. (afterwards Sir), 

i. 247 
Whitechapel, art at, i. 64 ; 

murders, 240, 241 
Whitechapel Art Gallery, ii. 142 
Whiteley, William, ii. 279 
White Man's Burden, The, ii. 25 
White Nile, the, i. 125 
Whittaker, T. P., i. 397 
Whitworth, Sir Joseph, i. 201 
Wilde, Oscar, i. 17, 19, 307, 341, 

Williams, J. E., i. 154, 155, 200 ; 

tried for sedition, 179 
Williams, Powell, ii. 212 



Willoughby, Sir John, i. 388 

Wills, Mr Justice, ii. 121 

Wilson, Mr and Mrs Arthur, i. 293 

Wilson, Sir Charles, i. 151 

Wilson, J., i. 196 

Wilson, J. H., i. 280 

Wimbledon shooting ground, {.239 

Wimereux, ii. 25 

Windsor, Lord, i. 397 

Wingate, Sir Francis, i. 441 

Winter sports, ii. 138 

Wireless telegraphy, ii. 25, 139, 

With the tiighfMail, ii. 298 (note) 

Wolseley, Sir Garnet (now Lord), 
i. 56 ; sent to Egypt, 88 ; 
defeats Arabi Pasha, 98 ; de- 
nounces Gordon's proposal to 
evacuate the Soudan, 128 ; his 
plan of campaign for the Sou- 
dan, 132 ; in command at 
Cairo, 132 ; makes his way up 
the Nile, 149 ; ordered to retire 
from Dongola, 157 

Woman labour, committee on, 
i. 219 "3" 

Woman Suffrage, i. 114, 134, 133, 
170, 180, 311 ; ii. 274, 275, 280- 
282, 312-313 

Woman surgeon, the first, i. 180 

Women, International Congress of, 
ii. 20 ; qualified to sit on county 
councils, 282 ; workers' con- 
ference at Bristol, i. 318 

Women's clubs, ii. 19 ; Freedom 
Leasrue, ii. 312 ; Protective and 
Provident Leagues, i. 225 ; 
Social and Political Union, ii. 
275, 280, 312 ; Trade Union 
Association, i. 318 

Wood, Sir Evelyn, ii. 136 

Woodall, Mr, i. 134, 135 

Woodford evictions, the, i. 209 

Woolwich by-election, ii. 192 

Woollen industry, the, i. 57 

Workers' Education Association, 
ii. 167 

" Working Classes," the, increased 
power of, i. 144 ; Housing Bill 
for, ii. 35, 107 

Workmens' Compensation Bill, 
i. 411, 412 ; ii. 36 

Workmen's insurance, the Ger- 
man system of, i. 311 

Wright, the brothers, ii. 297 

Wright, trial of, i. 326 

Wright, Whittaker, ii. 132, 179, 
1 80, 209 

Wyndham, Charles (now Sir), i. 


Wyndham, George, i. 390 ; ii. 
182, 228, 237, 260 

YA T E, ii. 22 

Yalu river, the, ii. 220 

Yarmouth, murder at, ii. 120 

Yarrow & Company, i. 295 

Yeats, W. B., ii. 25. 291 

Yellow Aster, The, i. 344 

Yellow Book, The, i. 344 

Yohe, Miss May, i. 377' 

York, the Duke of, i. 437. See 
also Wales George Prince of 

Yorkshire, Colleee. ii 122 ; out- 
break of rabies in, i 396 

You Never Can Tell ii 24, 113 

Youncrer George i ^QT : ii 212 

Younshusband Captain (after- 
ward? Colonel), ii. ^7. 210 

Young Men's Christian Associa- 
tion, the, i 20 

ZANZIBAR, i. 2r>i, 262. 276 
Zeppelin Count ii 293 
Zepfielin Nn. 4 'airship), ii. 299 
Zobeir Pasha, i 129. 130 
Zola, M , i 432 
Zululand, i. 385